Pelosi denies she's 'trying to run out the clock' on impeachment

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden to take part in CNN town hall in Baltimore Manchin on finishing agenda by Halloween: 'I don't know how that would happen' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Build Back Better items on chopping block MORE (D-Calif.) denied on Friday that she is "trying to run out the clock" in launching an impeachment inquiry against President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE, digging in on her argument that Democrats need to continue building their case.

"I'm not trying to run out the clock. Let's get sophisticated about this, OK?" Pelosi told reporters at a press conference on Capitol Hill, defending her position.

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House Democrats advocating for an impeachment inquiry acknowledged this week that former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's testimony confirming aspects of his report into Russian election interference and Trump's efforts to undermine the probe didn't drive the momentum some were seeking to move the needle on impeachment.

More still, House members left Washington on Thursday evening for the six-week summer recess and won't be back until September.

Mueller, Pelosi said, "was not able to investigate the president's finances, personal, business or otherwise. And that is what we are doing in the courts."

"We will proceed when we have what we need to proceed. Not one day sooner. And everybody has the liberty and the luxury to espouse their own position and to criticize me for trying to go down the path in the most determined, positive way," she added. "So I'm willing to take whatever heat there is there to say when the decision is made in a timely fashion."

While Mueller didn't go beyond the findings of his report, which was released three months ago, he did assert that his findings did not exonerate Trump — despite Trump's claims to the contrary.

Mueller also said he believes that the president could be charged with obstruction of justice after leaving office.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMore than 200 women, transgender inmates to be transferred from Rikers Island Alabama using COVID funds to build new prisons — is that Biden's vision? Alabama clears plan to use COVID-19 relief funds to build prisons MORE (D-N.Y.) is expected to hold a press conference on Capitol Hill later Friday to discuss the next steps in obtaining grand jury materials from Mueller's report and to enforce a subpoena for former White House counsel Don McGahn, a key witness in the special counsel's investigation.

At least seven Democrats have come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry since Mueller's testimony on Wednesday: Reps. Lori TrahanLori A. TrahanFour big takeaways from a tough hearing for Facebook Senators gear up for bipartisan grilling of Facebook execs Hillicon Valley — Presented by Ericsson — Instagram 'pausing' kid-targeted plan MORE (Mass.), Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazio'Design-build' contracts key to infrastructure success EPA closer to unveiling plan for tackling 'forever chemicals' Congress sends 30-day highway funding patch to Biden after infrastructure stalls MORE (Ore.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del.), John GaramendiJohn Raymond GaramendiWhy is Biden doubling down on Trump's nuclear expansion? Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon officials get grilling from House Defense secretary blames State Department for delay in Afghanistan evacuation MORE (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), Annie Kuster (N.H.) and Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkBiden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions Pelosi, moderates inch closer to infrastructure, budget deal House Democrats return to advance Biden's agenda in face of crises MORE (Mass.). Clark, the Democratic Caucus vice chair, became the highest-ranking member of leadership to date to endorse launching an impeachment inquiry.

Pelosi said that she has no problem with individual Democrats calling for impeachment — nearly 100 lawmakers have come out in favor of launching an inquiry, according to The Hill's whip list — despite her reservations about moving forward.

"Their advocacy for impeachment only gives me leverage. I have no complaint with what they are doing," Pelosi said.

Updated at 12:20 p.m.