Politics & Policy

Pelosi Shuts Down Impeachment Questions from Press

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addresses guests in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

House speaker Nancy Pelosi walked out of her weekly press briefing Thursday after expressing frustration with members of the press, who she said are “hung up” on potential impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

“I’m not answering any more questions about a possible inquiry, investigation, and the rest,” Pelosi said as she cut the briefing short and walked away from the podium. “Why is it that you are hung up with a word over here when lives are at stake over there?”

The California Democrat criticized members of the media for peppering her with questions on the House’s impeachment proceedings, which have taken several twists and turns over the last few weeks. Instead, the speaker said she wishes the press would focus on Senate Republicans’ refusal to take up Democrats’ universal-background-check legislation, a gun-control measure that has already passed in the House.

Pelosi has called impeachment “divisive” and has so far refused to grant a House vote allowing the Judiciary Committee to spearhead an official impeachment probe. But Chairman Jerry Nadler has continued to have the committee investigate the possibility of impeachment. On Thursday, the committee took a major step, approving a resolution setting the parameters of the impeachment investigation.

“This Committee is engaged in an investigation that will allow us to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Trump,” Nadler said Thursday.

Pelosi cited low public support for impeachment, saying the American people do not have an appetite for rushing into it.

“They understand that impeachment is a very divisive measure, but if we have to go there, we’ll have to go there. But we can’t go there unless we have the facts, and we will follow the facts,” she said, adding that lawmakers will “make our decision when we’re ready.”

“Legislate, investigate, litigate,” Pelosi said. “That is the path we had been on, and that is the path we continue to be on.”

“You are the only ones who are so into this,” she said to the press. “There is nothing different from one day to the next. We are still on the same path.”

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