Pelosi: Trump 'cover-up' could be 'impeachable offense'

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCummings to lie in state at the Capitol House Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union —Dem wants more changes to Pelosi drug pricing bill | Ebola outbreak wanes, but funding lags | Johnson & Johnson recalls batch of baby powder after asbestos traces found MORE (D-Calif.) dismissed President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE's behavior Wednesday as "orchestrated" after he abruptly ended infrastructure talks with Democrats at the White House by citing their ongoing investigations of his administration.

Pelosi addressed the scuttled meeting during an appearance at an annual Center for American Progress conference, saying Trump came into the room focused on her comments earlier in the morning accusing him of engaging in a "cover-up."

"In an orchestrated — almost to an 'oh, poor baby' point of view — he came into the room and said that I said that he was engaged in a cover-up and he couldn't possibly engage in a conversation on infrastructure as long as we are investigating him," Pelosi told the audience.

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The Democratic leader reiterated her claim of a "cover-up," saying that "the fact is, in plain sight, in the public domain, this president is obstructing justice and he's engaged in a cover-up. And that could be an impeachable offense."

Pelosi questioned the timing of Trump seizing on the Democrats' congressional investigations this week, noting that the probes began when the party took over the House in January.

Trump initially met with Democratic leaders in late April, when they agreed to pursue a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, and intended to discuss how to pay for it on Wednesday.

"Now, we've been investigating him since we took over the majority. So there's nothing new in that," she said.

While the investigations began in January, they have ramped up in recent months, with Democratic chairmen and members voicing frustration with the administration's near-blanket stonewalling of the probes — something that has led more Democrats to call for the president's impeachment this week.

Pelosi pointed to Trump's Rose Garden appearance after Wednesday's brief meeting, where he spoke behind a podium with a sign saying "no collusion" and "no obstruction." The Democratic leader suggested Trump's move wasn't a spur-of-the-moment decision, saying the visuals "obviously were planned long before" the meeting.

Trump demanded that Democrats "get these phony investigations over with," asserting they could not legislate and investigate at the same time. 

“We’re going to go down one track at a time,” Trump said.

Pelosi initially accused Trump of engaging in a "cover-up" after House Democrats met Wednesday morning to discuss their oversight strategy and debate the prospect of opening an impeachment inquiry to combat the Trump administration's refusal to cooperate with their investigations.

While Pelosi took a sharper tone against Trump publicly, during the closed-door meeting with House Democrats she gave the floor to a handful of chairmen who have backed her methodical approach. Lawmakers suggested the caucus remained largely behind her approach despite a push from some members to begin an impeachment inquiry.