Pelosi: "Nothing Is Off The Table" To Enforce Subpoenas

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at her weekly press conference Thursday that "nothing is off the table" in Democrats' effort to push the White House to comply with subpoenas for information, including fining administration officials through what's called inherent contempt of Congress.

QUESTION: In the fight with the White House over the document requests, some of your members are frustrated has said that Congress should use inherent contempt powers specifically to fine individuals who are in defiance of subpoenas. The use of imposing fines on people who are defying congressional subpoenas?



HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Well, that is a path. That would be inherent contempt. The contempt civil contempt, criminal contempt, and inherent contempt. And if they fail to--to a path I'm not saying an intent but I'm saying again then I mentioned to Katie that this is one of the possibilities that is out there. I am not saying that we are going down that path, I'm just saying it is not to be excluded. Nothing is to be off the table. So in inherent contempt you send a subpoena, they don't honor it then hold them in contempt and if they do not comply then you can fine them. And then you can hold them accountable for the money that you fine them.

So, for people who work in a--in federal government or administration who now are having to hire lawyers who is paying for that? The Republican National Committee the President says--well, that's interesting. Is that even legal? I don't know. Doesn't seem to bother them whether it is or not. But the--you have you can fine them and then hold them accountable if they don't pay the fines. I'm just saying it is an approach--it is an approach is what I am saying.

QUESTION: What is your position?

PELOSI: I don't have to have a position I'm waiting for my first we want--as I said to Katie we want to see what we can get respectfully. First, we ask--first we ask then we are subpoena friendly. Then we subpoena otherwise and then we see what we get. So, let's not leapfrog over what we think should be the path that--that should be taken. But I only say to you whether it's using impeachment among other purposes for investigation or whether it's using fines as an incentive for people to earlier on supply information that's--it's a possibility. It's not something that--as I said, I'm a big believer in the committee system. I have great confidence in our committee chairs and how they go forward.

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