“Impeachment is a very divisive place to go in our country,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday during her weekly press conference.
In perhaps Pelosi’s starkest terms yet, the California Democrat laid out how she views impeachment as a political matter rather than a constitutional duty.
Pelosi once again said it was “in plain sight” that Trump had obstructed justice and may continue to be obstructing justice by ignoring congressional Democrats’ subpoenas. Special counsel Robert Mueller laid out 10 instances where Trump may have obstructed justice, including by ordering then-White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller, and then instructing McGahn to lie about it.
“Yes, these could be impeachable offenses, but I intend not to―” Pelosi said, cutting herself off.
She then said there were three things Democrats wanted to convey. One, that Democrats are following the facts to get the truth to the American people. Two, that no one is above the law. And three, that the president is engaged in a cover-up.
“How we deal with it is a decision that our caucus makes, and our caucus is very much saying, whatever we do, we need to be ready when we do it,” Pelosi said.
She expressed concern that impeachment would be divisive, but did caution that the current investigations Democrats are pursuing “may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment.”
“Or not,” Pelosi continued.
Pelosi has held off the most liberal voices in her caucus arguing for impeachment by slamming Trump at every turn. She’s called his behavior “self-impeaching” and has been forceful recently that Trump obstructed justice. But Pelosi has also worked diligently to prevent Democrats from moving forward with impeachment.
She called a special meeting Wednesday to discuss the investigations Democrats are already engaged in and argued for staying the course rather than escalating these investigations to an impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi theorized Thursday that Trump walked out of a meeting on infrastructure the day before because Democrats were “not on a path to impeachment.”
“And that’s where he wants us to be,” Pelosi claimed.