Pelosi asks House to proceed with articles of impeachment

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 6:59 a.m. ET, December 6, 2019
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11:33 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Nancy Pelosi: "Don't mess with me"

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

As Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was walking away from the microphone at her weekly press conference, a reporter asked her: "Do you hate the President, Mrs. Speaker?"

Pelosi stopped and said: "I don't hate anybody." 

She then walked back to the microphone, and said that while she believes Trump is a "coward," that's only about his political positions.

"I think this president is a coward when it comes to helping our kids who are afraid of gun violence. I think that he is cruel when he doesn't deal with helping our Dreamers, of which we are very proud of. I think he is in denial about the climate crisis. However that's about the election," she said.

She continued: "This is about the Constitution of the United States and the facts that lead to the President's violation of his oath of office. And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone."

"So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that," she said before walking off the podium.

Watch the moment:

11:06 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Pelosi: Impeachment is about protecting the Constitution, not politics

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was just asked if she's concerned that some congressional Democrats could face a backlash if they vote for articles of impeachment.

Every member of the House will face reelection next year.

Pelosi said the impeachment inquiry against President Trump has "absolutely nothing to do with politics" — instead it's about "the oath of office we take to protect and defend the Constitution."

So, she said, she's "not concerned."

Here's her full answer:

"This has absolutely nothing to do with politics. It isn’t about politics, partisanship, Democrats and Republicans. That’s totally insignificant. It’s about the Constitution of the United States, the oath of office we take to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. It’s about the President not honoring his oath of office. So no, I’m not concerned."
11:03 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Pelosi calls Trump's court fight over his records "an obstruction of justice"

Speaker Nancy Pelosi talked about the ongoing fight over Trump's financial documents that the House has subpoenaed as part of its investigation.

She said the President's actions of "bumping them up in court" — or continuing to appeal to a higher court — "is an obstruction of justice."

She added that the House is "winning" these cases — indeed this week a federal appeals court in New York ruled that Trump needs to turn over his records from Deutsche Band and Capital One.

On House Democrats' decision to push forward and not wait for a final judicial decision in several of the cases, Pelosi said, "We're not going to be accomplices to his obstruction of justice."

Pelosi noted that these cases may wind up in front of the Supreme Court.

"So we're waiting to see if the [Supreme Court] will even take up something that is so in defiance of their precedent that says yes, Congress has the right to subpoena and oversight over the executive branch."

11:05 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

There will be another impeachment hearing on Monday

The House Judiciary committee has just announced that on Monday, they will have a hearing at 9 a.m. ET.

The hearing is “to receive presentations from counsels to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and House Judiciary Committee.” Lawyers for the Democrats and the Republicans will present, according to the announcement.

10:53 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

NOW: Pelosi takes reporters' questions

Speaker of the House is holding her weekly news conference, where she'll answer reporters' questions.

Earlier today, she announced that she has asked the House to proceed with articles of impeachment against President Trump.

10:39 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

House Republican: Pelosi's announcement is “completely unsurprising”

From CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Ali Zaslav

Rep. Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania, said Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement today that the House is moving forward with articles of impeachment was “completely unsurprising.”

“It's unfortunate the country is going to have to go through this, but they're in the majority and this is their prerogative so we're going to do it," Perry said.

Asked about whether the President and his allies should start participating in the inquiry, Perry said, “Here’s what I think: everybody should be participating and that means the White House should be participating.”

He continued, “What we should be getting after is the truth, and the facts, all of them, not just some of them.”

Perry, who is on the Foreign Affairs committee, said he still believes Trump did nothing wrong.

Meanwhile, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat, told CNN that Pelosi couldn’t just “sit on this evidence. She had to do what she did this morning.”

Norton added: “History would hold this House responsible if we let that go.”

10:23 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

House Judiciary Democrats have been asked to stay in DC this weekend

From CNN's Manu Raju

After her speech this morning, Speaker Pelosi met with a small group of House Democrats in the basement of the Capitol and discussed the necessity of moving forward.

She was greeted with enthusiasm and no dissent, according to attendees.

CNN was also told that the House Judiciary Democrats have been asked to stay in town this weekend to prep for a possible hearing next week.

10:20 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Trump on impeachment: "We will win!"

President Trump continued to attack the impeachment process on Twitter this morning.

Moments ago, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would move forward with articles of impeachment. The President said that impeachment will "be used routinely to attack future Presidents" — which is not "what our Founders had in mind."

He reiterated his claim that his phone calls with Ukraine were "perfect," and added "We will win!"

10:06 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Kellyanne Conway: The White House is "very ready" for a Senate trial

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, Sen. Mitt Romney and President Donald Trump listen during a listening session on youth vaping on November 22, 2019.
White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, Sen. Mitt Romney and President Donald Trump listen during a listening session on youth vaping on November 22, 2019. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway spoke with reporters at the White House this morning following an appearance on Fox News.

Conway called witnesses at yesterday's House Judiciary impeachment hearing “a bunch of biased professors who aren’t fact witnesses.”

She criticized one Democratic witness, Professor Pamela Karlan, as someone who “looks her nose down on people I grew up with,” mocking her three degrees from Yale (“Yay!”) and said that “in the comfort of her ivory tower” she was “unimpeachably unimpressive.”

The White House, Conway said, is “very ready” for a Senate trial, noting that legislative affairs director Eric Ueland was on the Hill yesterday and that she’s been present for meetings with some senators.

The Senate process, she argued, “would include live witnesses who have visibility and knowledge into facts.”

She said the Senate should call on the Bidens and Adam Schiff to testify, and, interestingly, said she has a list of Burisma board members on her desk that “maybe” will be called.

It’s “more likely” that White House counsel Pat Cipollone will testify in Senate proceedings, per Conway, but she wouldn’t weigh in on whether Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton will testify on the Senate side before the articles of impeachment are known.