House

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

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) denied on Friday that she is “trying to run out the clock” in launching an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, 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.

{mosads}House Democrats advocating for an impeachment inquiry acknowledged this week that former special counsel Robert Mueller’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 Nadler (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 Trahan (Mass.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del.), John Garamendi (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), Annie Kuster (N.H.) and Katherine Clark (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.

Tags Donald Trump Jerrold Nadler Jerry Nadler John Garamendi Katherine Clark Lori Trahan mike levin Mueller investigation Nancy Pelosi Peter DeFazio Robert Mueller

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