WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi downplayed talk of impeachment of President Donald Trump following a vote by a key House panel to approve guidelines for an impeachment investigation.
“Legislate, investigate, litigate. That’s the path we have been on and that’s the path we continue to be on,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in response to a question at a news conference on Thursday.
Pelosi chided reporters for bringing up impeachment. She repeatedly said she would not answer questions on the subject but the questions kept coming.
Pelosi has long eschewed talk of impeachment. She has said the committees that are investigating the president have more work to do before they are able to go down that road.
Earlier Thursday the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to approve the guidelines. They are modeled on the format the committee used during its 1973 investigation into the Watergate scandal. Pelosi said she approves of the committee’s decision.
The guidelines would allow the committee’s lawyers to question witnesses for an additional hour after members have concluded questions. They would permit the committee to receive evidence in closed session and allow the president’s attorneys to respond in writing to testimonial evidence.
Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced at a news conference on July 27 that the committee would conduct an “impeachment investigation” as part of its oversight into alleged obstruction by members of the administration.
The committee is not conducting impeachment proceedings, which to commence would require a majority vote in the full House.
More than 100 Democrats have said they support impeachment or impeachment-related investigations.
Even if the House voted to impeach Trump, the effort would likely die in the Republican-controlled Senate where a two-thirds vote is needed to remove the president from office.