House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) on Wednesday rejected House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler‘s request to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. 

This came in a closed-door meeting after former Special Counsel Robert Muellers testimony before two house panels about his 448-page report on Russian interference in 2016. Mueller, who appeared to struggle to respond to lawmakers’ questions about his investigation and report, said Trump could potentially be charged with obstructing justice after he leaves office.

Pelosi, who has famously resisted many Democrats’ calls for impeachment since taking over as House speaker this year, convened the Democratic caucus to discuss the possibility of starting proceedings against Trump after Mueller’s testimonies before the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.

“If we have a case for impeachment, that’s the place we will have to go. Why I’d like it to be a strong case is because it’s based on the facts — the facts and the law, that’s what matters,” Pelosi told reporters while showing no signs of her disagreement with Nadler, who stood next to her.


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“The stronger our case is, the worse the Senate will look for just letting the president off the hook,” she added.


It was reported that among the issues discussed during this closed-door meeting was whether nor not the full Democratic-led House should vote on impeachment or if only the Judiciary panel should decide this matter. Plans for possibly presenting impeachment articles to the Senate were also discussed.

Nadler reportedly cited the case surrounding former President Richard Nixon after the Watergate scandal in his arguments in favor of impeachment he presented to Pelosi and other top Democrats. In 1973, the House of Representatives started impeachment proceedings against Nixon and at first, the American public’s support for removing him from office was very low. However, many more voters gradually began backing impeachment as further evidence of the Nixon administration’s illicit actions surfaced.

As of this week, 93 House Democrats have publicly said they support an impeachment inquiry and proceedings, according to CNN.

Pelosi, who encouraged a “slow, methodical approach” to Trump’s behavior, also noted the multiple lawsuits Democrats have advanced against the president in federal court, including those concerning his tax returns. The House speaker has also stressed she believes bipartisan support for impeaching Trump is key to the effort, although no Republican lawmakers have yet said they back this measure. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Michigan) initially supported Trump’s impeachment earlier this year as a Republican, although he officially left the GOP earlier this month to become an independent.

Given that the Senate is under Republican control and impeachment requires, among other things, two-thirds majority support in both houses of Congress, this effort seems increasingly unlikely, Pelosi added. She and other top Democrats also reportedly said they feared members of their party seeking re-election in 2020 could ultimately become more vulnerable if they continue pursuing this option.

In the end, Democrats agreed on one next step: filing a lawsuit to enforce a subpoena against former White House Counsel Don McGahnwho earlier this year refused to appear before a congressional panel to testify. McGahn confessed to Mueller that Trump directed him to fire the former special counsel as a way to stop the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including alleged collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government. Mueller ultimately found insufficient evidence of coordination between Trump’ associates and the Kremlin.


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