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Pelosi: Trump is 'crying out' for impeachment but House Democrats are not on that path for now

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 5/23/2019 Eliza Collins

Video by Reuters

WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Donald Trump of trying to goad Democrats into pursuing impeachment but said her caucus is not taking the bait.

She said Trump's vow not to work with Democrats on shared priorities such as infrastructure rebuilding was rooted in frustration that "the House Democratic caucus is not on the path to impeachment and that’s where he wants us to be.”

Pelosi, who spoke at a news conference on Capitol Hill, said she believed Trump is "crying out" for impeachment and when he realized Democrats would not go that route "that’s why he flipped yesterday." Trump walked out of a meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday and said he would not work with House Democrats unless Pelosi suspends several investigations lawmakers have launched into his presidency and finances.

Pelosi also said she was concerned about the president's well-being "and the well-being of the United States of America."

Trump on Wednesday morning denied "raging" at the meeting and accused the Democrats and press of mischaracterizing his mood, which he said was "extremely calm."

Democrats have been divided over the issue of impeachment following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. They have accused Trump of trying thwart that probe. Despite a growing clamor to begin an impeachment inquiry, Pelosi has sought to tamp down the calls, telling Democrats to focus on fact finding first. 

But Pelosi has not ruled out impeachment, either.

On Wednesday she said "this president is obstructing justice and he is engaged in a cover up and that could be an impeachable offense."

Related slideshow: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi through the years

She followed those remarks Thursday saying the investigations "may take us to a place that’s unavoidable, on impeachment, or not. But we're not at that place.”

Over the last few days a growing number of senior Democrats, including some of Pelosi's allies, have started to say it was time to open an impeachment inquiry. Others have said they personally aren't there but they are moving in that direction.

“I have a feeling that this lawless president is going to force us there,’’ Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., said Thursday. “I don’t think we’re there right this minute. I think it’s important that we go through the process of the courts.’’ Bass is the chair of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus and on the Judiciary Committee, the panel that would handle impeachment.

Some Republicans believe any impeachment proceedings by Democrats would backfire on the party in the 2020 presidential election because many voters have been telling pollsters they are more focused on kitchen-table issues like jobs and healthcare than on the investigations of Trump.

Pelosi's comment on impeachment comes as a growing number Democratic lawmakers are calling for Democrats to initiate an impeachment inquiry. 

Pelosi on impeachment: Trump's 'cover-up' could be 'an impeachable offense'

No deal: Trump tells Democrats he won't work with them unless they drop investigations

Pelosi vs. Trump: Warfare hits new level, raising the risk of even more gridlock

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pelosi: Trump is 'crying out' for impeachment but House Democrats are not on that path



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