House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remains hesitant to proceed with an impeachment inquiry following former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Wednesday congressional testimony.
Addressing reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon, Pelosi explained that Mueller’s testimony did not change her belief that impeachment proceedings should only be undertaken when the multiple ongoing congressional oversight investigations into Trump’s behavior, as well as the multiple pending legal challenges against the administration, have concluded.
“My position has always been: whatever decision we make in that regard would have to be done with our strongest possible hand, and we still have some outstanding matters in the courts,” Pelosi told reporters during the Democratic leadership’s press conference.
NEW: Speaker Nancy Pelosi on impeachment push after #MuellerHearings: "My position has always been: whatever decision we make in that regard would have to be done with our strongest possible hand, and we still have some outstanding matters in the courts." https://t.co/PIsGWtGws2 pic.twitter.com/kuqmxevkbp
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) July 24, 2019
The speaker did stress that the process of evaluating whether Trump’s conduct warrants impeachment “isn’t endless,” pushing back on critics’ claims that she is seeking to placate impeachment advocates within her caucus by continuously stretching the timeline.
Pelosi’s hesitance to pursue an impeachment inquiry has incrreasingly placed her at odds with the progressive members of her caucus, who represent safe Democratic districts and are less inclined to accommodate their more moderate colleagues who remain weary of impeachment.
Some advocates of impeachment predicted that Mueller’s Wednesday testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees would galvanize support for the opening of an impeachment inquiry among lawmakers and the public at large.
“The fact that it’ll be Mueller himself, in his own words, contextualized by the questions that are being asked, it could move some members that had been leaning toward impeachment,” Representative Dan Kildee (D., Mich.) told Politico on Tuesday.
“I think virtually every Democrat wants to be in favor of impeachment, and I think the hearings should help a lot of members get there,” said Representative John Yarmuth (D., Ky.).
“I think they all know the president has committed impeachable offenses, and they want to be able to take a position that holds him accountable,” Yarmuth added.
During the press conference Wednesday, Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler, who has reportedly privately pressured Pelosi to open an impeachment inquiry, said he would now go to court to compel the release of Mueller’s grand jury material in order to further his panel’s investigation into Trump’s attempts to obstruct the probe.