House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference on Thursday that the showdown between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration has become a "constitutional crisis," but she is not going to rush into launching impeachment proceedings before investigations are complete.
"We have investigations that will give us facts and the truth," Pelosi said. "This is not about Congress or any committee of Congress. It’s about the American people and their right to know and their election that is at stake and that a foreign government intervened in our election and the president thinks it is a laughing matter."
QUESTION: Do you agree with chairman Nadler that the country is currently in a constitutional crisis?
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Yes, I do agree with Chairman Nadler because the administration has decided that they are not going to honor their oath of office. Now, he's staked out because he has seen so much of the committee work. I'm very proud of the Judiciary Committee and the work they have done.
In terms of timing, when we're ready, we'll come to the floor. We'll just see because there may be other contempt of Congress issues that we want to deal with at the same time. And he wants to do it as soon as possible, and so do we.
QUESTION: Do you agree the country is in a constitutional crisis? Doesn't that devalue the argument of also showing restraint? Doesn't that take away from the emergency element of that?
PELOSI: No, I don't think so. I think what we want to do is get the facts. We want to do it in a way that is the least divisive to our country and the most productive. We're asking in the constitution to comply. We still have more opportunities. We'll see if Mueller will testify, and that will make a big difference in terms of where we go from here.
QUESTION: If this truly is a constitutional crisis, how can that not change your thinking regarding impeachment?
PELOSI: Well, we have investigations that will give us the facts and the truth. This is not about Congress or any committee of Congress. It's about the American people and their right to know and their election that is at stake and that a foreign government intervened in our election and the president thinks it is a laughing matter.
It's appalling that this administration would not even pretend to want to protect our elections and, in fact, be an obstacle to our finding out more about how it happened so we can prevent it from happening again. So again, we look to history in the Nixon experience of whatever you want to call that. It was months of hearings and investigation before they got to a place where they had enough -- they had a compelling argument that even the Republicans had to go to the president and say, it's over.
But you have to have -- as I said, we follow the facts. For seven years, I was on the Ethics Committee, and I really did pay my dues to the Congress of the United States. Everybody has to participate in some way so we can have our Congress operate at the highest standard. But it is heavy lifting because you're making judgments about your colleagues. Nobody wants to do that, however, we were always instructed it's not about hearsay, it's not about politics, it's not about personalities. It's about the facts, the law, and in that case, the rules of the House.
And that is the path that I'm following. It's about the facts and the law. Now, as I said yesterday, the president is almost self-impeaching because he is every day demonstrating more obstruction of justice and disrespect for Congress' legitimate role to subpoena. Again, this is very methodical. It's very Constitution-based. It's very law based. It's very factually based. It's not about pressure. It's about patriotism.