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

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Democrats seek to use spending bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol West Virginia governor issues order for wearing face coverings indoors The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Supreme Court's unanimous decision on the Electoral College MORE (D-Calif.) denied on Friday that she is "trying to run out the clock" in launching an impeachment inquiry against President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Anderson Cooper: Trump's Bubba Wallace tweet was 'racist, just plain and simple' Beats by Dre announces deal with Bubba Wallace, defends him after Trump remarks Overnight Defense: DOD reportedly eyeing Confederate flag ban | House military spending bill blocks wall funding 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 NadlerNadler wins Democratic primary Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November Clyburn threatens to end in-person coronavirus committee hearings if Republicans won't wear masks 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. TrahanDemocrats on House Armed Services panel 'dismayed and gravely concerned' with Esper The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Pfizer's Mikael Dolsten says vaccine development timeline being cut in half; House poised to pass 4 billion relief package MA lawmakers press HHS secretary on status of state's protective equipment MORE (Mass.), Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated Republicans score procedural victory on Democrats' infrastructure bill House approves .5T green infrastructure plan MORE (Ore.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del.), John GaramendiJohn Raymond GaramendiWuhan is the final straw: The world needs to divest from China GOP seizes on 'defund the police' to galvanize base Peace Corps faces uncertain future with no volunteers in field MORE (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), Annie Kuster (N.H.) and Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkHouse pushes back schedule to pass spending bills Gun control group rolls out House endorsements Pelosi scrambles to secure quick passage of coronavirus aid 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.