Pelosi agrees that the country is in a 'constitutional crisis'

Kadia Tubman

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she agreed with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler who declared that the country is in a “constitutional crisis” after his panel voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over the unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report along with underlying evidence.

“The administration has decided that they’re not going to honor their oaths of office,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday at her weekly press conference. She called it “appalling that this administration would not even pretend to want to protect our elections and in fact be an obstacle to our finding out more about how it happened so we can prevent it from happening again.”

Before the Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt, President Trump asserted executive privilege over the unredacted Mueller report, refused to turn over his tax returns, threatened to sue to block subpoenas for his financial information and instructed his former aides not to comply with a congressional subpoena to testify.

“Every day, they are advertising their obstruction of justice by ignoring subpoenas and by just declaring that people shouldn’t come and speak to Congress so that the American people can find out the truth about the Russian disruption of our election so that it doesn’t happen again,” she said.

When asked about the timing of the full House vote to hold Barr in contempt, she alluded to possible future resistance from other administration officials, saying: “When we’re ready, we’ll come to the floor. There might be some other contempt-of-Congress issues that we want to deal with at the same time.”

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 9, 2019. Pelosi will make the decision on when to call a full House vote on the Attorney General William Barr contempt measure but told reporters Thursday that Democrats haven't decided when to hold the vote and that it might be combined with other contempt citations. (Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg)

Pelosi has resisted calls from members of her party to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, but amid a constitutional showdown between House Democrats and the Trump administration, she declared that Trump “is almost self-impeaching.”

“The president is almost self-impeaching because he is every day demonstrating more obstruction of justice and disrespect for Congress’s legit role to subpoena,” Pelosi said.

Earlier in the week, she warned against excessive “enthusiasm” for impeaching the president, saying that "Trump is goading us to impeach him."

"That's what he's doing. Every single day, he's just like, taunting, taunting, taunting, because he knows that it would be very divisive in the country, but he doesn’t really care,” Pelosi said Tuesday. “[He] just wants to solidify his base."

Instead, she advised that Democrats take methodical, fact-based steps through their investigations.

“We’re going to do the right thing,” Pelosi said. “And it’s going to be based on fact and law and patriotism, not partisanship or anything else.”


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