Despite some House Democrats loudly calling for the start of an impeachment inquiry, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that she’s “not feeling any pressure” and argued that Democrats “know exactly what actions we need to take.”
In response to a question at her weekly news conference about whether she feels any influence from 2020 contenders and the electorate about what actions she may take, Pelosi said, “No, I’m not feeling any pressure,” adding that she is proud of the work of the Democratic-led committees, who she said are “following the facts and making decisions about how we go forward.”
Pelosi knocked the media, suggesting that some journalists have overplayed division within the caucus on the impeachment narrative.
“I see in some metropolitan journals and on some TV that we are trying to find our way, or are unsure. Make no mistake, we know exactly what path we’re on. We know exactly what actions we need to take.”
Pelosi conceded that “that may take more time than some people want it to take,” and said, “There is great grief and sadness and pain in our country about the behavior of this President of the United States.”
Pelosi also downplayed the ultimate impact of impeachment – arguing that there is public confusion over what it would actually entail and that some people mistakenly think that impeachment alone would be enough to remove the President from office.
“Did you know most people think that impeachment means you’re out of office?” Pelosi asked reporters at the news conference.
“They think that you get impeached, you’re gone and that is completely not true,” she said, adding, “You get impeached and it’s an indictment. It’s an indictment … it’s not the means to the end that people think. All you do – vote to impeach, bye, bye birdie. It isn’t that. It’s an indictment.”
A growing, but still relatively small, number of House Democrats are pressing for the start of an impeachment inquiry, but Pelosi has so far resisted that pressure.
The speaker has consistently downplayed the potential for impeachment, arguing that it would be extremely divisive and advocating a cautious approach to the issue and a methodical approach to congressional oversight of the administration.
Of the 235 Democrats in the House, there are at least 59 – according to a CNN count – who’ve made public comments advocating at least for starting the impeachment inquiry process, while some have gone further.
On the Republican side, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan has also called for impeachment proceedings, bringing the total number of representatives to 60.
Pelosi projected unity on Wednesday, however, saying, “There is no controversy,” as Democrats continue their oversight efforts.
“There is no controversy,” she said, adding, “We are on a path … This is a very, very strong team that we have working on this.”