Pelosi on Impeachment Inquiry: ‘Voters Are Not Going to Decide’

No timeline on inquiry, votes
October 17, 2019 Updated: October 18, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday declined to place a timeline on the process of inquiring into the impeachment of President Donald Trump after she was asked about whether it would end before the 2020 election.

Regarding a timeframe, “the timeline will depend on the truth line,” she said.

She was asked by a reporter why not allow American voters to decide whether Trump stays in office in 2020.

“I keep saying to people impeachment is about the truth and the Constitution and the United States. Any other issues you have with the president … that’s about the election,” Pelosi said in a news conference. “That has nothing to do with what is happening in terms of honoring our oath of office.”

“These two are completely different,” she continued. “Voters are not going to decide whether we honor our oath of office.” She continued: “We don’t know where this path will take us, or could take us … But the two are completely separate,” Pelosi added.

The reporter then asked about voters again.

Pelosi said in the press conference that “they already decided that in the last election.”

On Tuesday, she told reporters that the House “will not be having a vote” on holding a formal impeachment inquiry.

Trump and Congressional Republicans have criticized the Democrats’ efforts as illegitimate and an effort to undermine his presidency.

In the press conference, she also took a moment to offer a eulogy to Rep. Elijah Cummins (D-Md.) after he died on Thursday morning.

“He lived the American dream,” said Pelosi, describing Cummings as “my Baltimore brother.”

Cummings’s committee, authorized to investigate virtually any part of the federal government, is one of three conducting the House impeachment probe of Trump. Cummings was among the three chairmen to sign a letter seeking documents into the formal inquiry about Trump.

The committees have issued subpoenas of witnesses. The Trump administration said it will not cooperate with the impeachment probe, saying the House needs to vote first.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a veteran House Democrat from New York, will for now take over leadership of the House oversight committee, according to several news reports.

A whistleblower, who remains anonymous, alleged that Trump’s request to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July 25 call may have amounted to a violation of campaign finance law. The Justice Department determined no further action was necessary after reviewing the complaint.

Pelosi launched the impeachment inquiry before the White House released a copy of the transcript of the call between Trump and Zelensky. A plain reading of the transcript shows no obvious evidence of a quid pro quo. Democrats have nonetheless alleged that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Zelensky. The Ukrainian president has said he didn’t feel pressured on the call with Trump.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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