‘It doesn’t matter’: Pelosi not concerned if Democrats lose majority over impeachment – USA TODAY
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that President Donald Trump tried to “shake down foreign leaders” and conceal it, undermining national security and forcing Congress to pursue his impeachment. (Sept. 26)
AUSTIN, Texas â Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in Texas to cap the most pivotal week in her tenure as the leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, said Saturday Democrats will push ahead with the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump regardless of any political consequences.
“It doesn’t matter,” Pelosi said in the wrap-up event of a weekend festival for politicians and journalists. “Our first responsibility is to the Constitution.”
Pelosi, a California Democrat who reclaimed the gavel in the House after her party captured the majority in the 2018 November elections, spoke just blocks away from the Texas Capitol at the festival put on by the Texas Tribune.
In a conversation with Tribune CEO Evan Smith, Pelosi said the decision to move ahead with the possible impeachment was dictated by the president’s actions.
“This is a sad time for our country,” Pelosi said. “There is no joy in this.”
Pelosi said her early hesitance to move ahead with impeachment was because the facts were insufficient until a whistleblower brought to light a phone conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky
In that conversation, a rough transcript released by the White House after the whistleblower’s concerns were made known showed Trump seeking politically damaging information against former Vice President Joe Biden, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
“I think right now, there is a coverup of the coverup,” she said.
Trump, meanwhile, has insisted there was nothing improper about the call and dismissed talk of impeachment as “a witch hunt.”
Pelosi also said she would allow the House Intelligence Committee to examine the facts without interference.
Asked about Texas’ role in the upcoming 2020 elections, Pelosi said the state is both in play and vital for the Democrats.
“This is it,” she said. “Texas is our hope for the future. I’m not just talking about (for) Democrats. I’m talking about our nation and the world.”
She declined to pick a favorite in the Democratic presidential primaries or in the race for the U.S. Senate for the right to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.
Pelosi did, however, said she would support House Democrats being challenged in their primaries.
Pelosi, who was speaker in the final years of President George W. Bush’s administration and during the first two years under President Barack Obama, said impeachment proceedings will not depend on support of House Republicans.
Nor, she added, would it be deterred by the fact that the GOP controls the Senate, making actual removal from office unlikely.
“If the facts are persuasive to the American people,” she said, “maybe they will be to the Republicans.”
Follow John C. Moritz on Twitter: @JohnnieMo.