Pelosi promises 'ironclad case' against Trump

SAN FRANCISCO — House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team House revives agenda after impeachment storm Democrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public MORE told California Democrats that Congress would continue aggressive investigations into President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE and the Trump administration, stopping short of calling for the beginning of an impeachment inquiry.

Addressing the California Democratic Party's annual convention in her home district, Pelosi cited former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE's report into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential
election.

"In his report, special counsel Mueller warned us in the starkest terms that there was an attack on our election and an attack on our democracy," Pelosi said. "Why won't the president defend us from this attack?"

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"What is the president covering up?" she asked. "We must investigate the president's welcoming of the assault on our democracy.

A single protester shouting "Impeach!" soon became a few, then a few dozen and then perhaps a hundred as Pelosi seemed to hint at a future inquiry.

"This isn't about politics, it isn't about partisanship, Democrats versus Republicans, no. It's about patriotism, it's about the sanctity of the constitution and it's about the future of our nation. We will go where the facts lead us. We will insist on the truth. We will build an ironclad case to act," Pelosi said.

"President Trump will be held accountable for his actions. In the Congress, in the courts, and in
the court of public opinion, we will defend our democracy," she added.

Pelosi and House Democratic leadership have played down talk of impeachment, even as a growing portion of the House Democratic Caucus calls for an inquiry. Pelosi told late-night host Jimmy KimmelJames (Jimmy) Christian KimmelThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — House Dems charge Trump with abuse, obstruction of Congress in impeachment articles The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says he is fighting testimony to protect presidency Trump fans defend Watergate scandal when Kimmel swaps Nixon's name for Trump's MORE on Thursday that the party had to be prepared to build a case.

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"We have a defiance of the Constitution of the United States, and so when we go down this path, we have to be ready, and it has to be clear to the American people, and we have to hope that it’ll be clear to the Republicans in the United States Senate," she said Thursday, comments she echoed Saturday.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMcConnell locks in schedule for start of impeachment trial Pelosi: Trump's impeachment 'cannot be erased' House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate MORE (D-N.Y.), who would chair impeachment hearings, said Friday he was conscious of the need to build public support for impeachment.

"Impeachment is a political act, and you cannot impeach a president if the American people will not support it," Nadler told WNYC. "The American people right now do not support it because they do not know the story. They don’t know the facts. We have to get the facts out. We have to hold a series of hearings, we have to hold the investigations."

Fifty House Democrats have called for opening an impeachment inquiry. Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall House votes to send impeachment articles to Senate MORE (R-Mich.) is the only Republican who has called for impeachment.