Pelosi says impeachment ‘not a priority’ after Cohen's guilty plea

Pelosi says impeachment ‘not a priority’ after Cohen's guilty plea

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump telling aides to look at potential spending cuts if he wins reelection: report Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday said impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE is "not a priority," despite Michael Cohen's guilty plea to campaign finance violations that implicated the president.

"Impeachment has to spring from something else," Pelosi, who has long downplayed the possibility of impeachment, told The Associated Press.

Cohen, who was Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a number of tax and bank fraud charges as well as a campaign finance violation. He said in court that Trump had directed him to arrange payments to two women during his 2016 presidential campaign in exchange for their silence about alleged affairs with Trump.

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"If and when the information emerges about that, we’ll see," Pelosi said. "It’s not a priority on the agenda going forward unless something else comes forward.”

Pelosi said Democrats should focus on oversight of the president and allow special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE to finish his work, the AP reported.

The charges against Cohen were brought by the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York after a referral from Mueller's team.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortWebb: Questions for Robert Mueller Top Mueller prosecutor Zainab Ahmad joins law firm Gibson Dunn Russian oligarch's story could spell trouble for Team Mueller MORE on Tuesday was found guilty of eight charges of bank and tax fraud.

The escalating legal battles against key figures in Trump's orbit have ramped up speculation about the president's political and legal future, with some saying Cohen's guilty plea could serve as grounds for impeachment.

But top Democrats on Capitol Hill aren't emphasizing that possibility.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro is behind in the polls, but he's finding a niche Gabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall MORE (D-Mass.), a vocal Trump critic and possible 2020 presidential contender, on Wednesday also declined to call for impeachment proceedings, focusing instead on passing legislation that would protect Mueller.

"I think that what Congress needs to do right now is we need to make sure that special prosecutor Mueller is fully protected from being fired by Donald Trump," Warren said on CNN, adding that the investigation is "much more sweeping" and "broader" than Cohen's guilty plea.

Democrats in the House previously attempted to introduce articles of impeachment against Trump, but the measure overwhelmingly failed.