Pelosi said that no one was “joyful” during the inquiry but that Democrats felt the inquiry had to be launched.
“We think the times have found us now,” she said after quoting Thomas Paine, saying: “The times have found us.”
“Not that we place ourselves in a category of greatness like our founders,” she said, adding the Founding Fathers: “fought for our independence, they declared independence, they fought and won” and earned freedom.
“And we see the actions of this president to be an assault on the Constitution, once we saw his admission to that we had no choice but to go forward,” she said.
It wasn’t clear what Pelosi was referring to when she said Trump admitted something. She later said that “he admitted that this telephone call took place and said it was perfect,” alleging the call was actually “wrong.”
Trump’s White House released a transcript of the call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last week and the complaint filed against Trump by an anonymous person, which triggered the impeachment inquiry, was also released.
Pelosi praised Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for heading the inquiry.
Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that his committee is lining up depositions from former and current State Department personnel. He said he wants to inquiry to go quickly, adding: “We don’t want this to drag on for months and months and months.”
The first deposition is scheduled for Thursday. Kurt Volker, the U.S. special representative for Ukraine Negotiations, who recently stepped down, is slated to meet with the House Intelligence Committee in a closed session.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused the committee of trying to get the personnel to sit for depositions without department counsel present.
“They contacted State Department employees directly—told them not to contact legal counsel at the State Department,” Pompeo said while in Italy on Wednesday.
Pelosi also outlined some legislative priorities for Democrats, claiming her caucus is trying to work with President Trump even as they try to impeach him.
Challenged by a reporter who asked how she could hope to work with Trump while trying to impeach him, Pelosi said: “They have nothing to do with each other. We have a responsibility to uphold our oath of office … we also have a responsiblity to get the job done for the American people.
All the Do Nothing Democrats are focused on is Impeaching the President for having a very good conversation with the Ukrainian President. I knew that many people were listening, even have a transcript. They have been at this “stuff” from the day I got elected. Bad for Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2019
Trump has said that momentum on legislation on guns was slowed by the impeachment inquiry and taken to calling the opposition party the “do-nothing Democrats.”
“All the Do Nothing Democrats are focused on is Impeaching the President for having a very good conversation with the Ukrainian President,” he wrote just before Pelosi’s press conference stated.
“I knew that many people were listening, even have a transcript. They have been at this ‘stuff’ from the day I got elected. Bad for Country!”