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

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThis week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request Judd Gregg: An Irish friend and wisdom Juan Williams: Warren on the rise MORE (D-Calif.) dismissed President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates 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.