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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOn The Money: Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump emergency declaration | Banks made billion in extra profits thanks to GOP tax law | IRS analyst charged with leaking Cohen's financial records Coast Guard lieutenant accused of planning domestic terrorism denied bail Inviting Kim Jong Un to Washington MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday said impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 ManafortWhite House braces for Mueller report Hillicon Valley: Trump pushes to speed up 5G rollout | Judge hits Roger Stone with full gag order | Google ends forced arbitration | Advertisers leave YouTube after report on pedophile ring Manafort to be sentenced for bank, tax fraud in Virginia on March 8 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 WarrenKamala Harris: Trump administration ‘targeting’ California for political purposes Harry Reid says he won’t make 2020 endorsement until after Nevada caucus Gillibrand to appear on Fox News Monday night 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.