House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that impeaching President Trump is “not a priority” for Democrats, despite former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen’s implication of the president in campaign-finance crimes.
“Impeachment has to spring from something else,” Pelosi said. “If and when the information emerges about that, we’ll see. It’s not a priority on the agenda going forward unless something else comes forward.”
Cohen pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday to eight counts of tax evasion and campaign-finance–law violations involving payments made to silence women claiming they’d had affairs with then-candidate Trump. Cohen said in his plea that Trump had told him to make the payments.
Pelosi has long discouraged bringing impeachment to the forefront of the Democratic agenda, warning that such a push would be a “gift to the Republicans.” She has instead promoted issues such as “reducing the role of money in politics.”
“I have hesitated to use impeachment,” the Democratic House leader said in May. “People wanted me to impeach President (George W.) Bush for going into Iraq. And they impeached President (Bill) Clinton. . . . There is an investigation. If it takes its course, let it take its course. But I do not think that impeachment is a policy agenda.”
Other Democratic leaders in Congress, including Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and House minority whip Steny Hoyer, have said they agree with Pelosi that impeachment should not be a priority. Only 58 Democrats in December voted in favor of Democratic congressman Al Green’s effort to initiate impeachment proceedings.