WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi picked up support from a key Democrat on Tuesday in her opposition to any bid to impeach President Donald Trump without bipartisan support for it, prompting some in her party to say they’ll proceed anyway.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the House Intelligence Committee chairman who in January reopened the panel’s investigation into Trump, accused the president of impeachable offenses Tuesday, but added, “I think the speaker is absolutely right.”
Without broad public and congressional backing, Schiff said “an impeachment becomes a partisan exercise doomed for failure. And I see little to be gained by putting the country through that kind of wrenching experience.”
Instead, Schiff said that “extraordinarily clear and compelling” evidence will be needed to build bipartisan support, something that could be generated by the dozens of investigations Democrats began launching as soon as they gained control of the House this year.
“I don't foreclose the possibility that the Mueller investigation will produce that, or that our own will,” Schiff told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Tuesday.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Tuesday said he and Pelosi believe everybody should not make conclusions until they see Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into whether Trump campaign had links or coordinated with Russia.
“When the public sees the report, they will come to a judgment,” Schumer said. “And it may be a judgment that is divisive and it may be a judgment that brings everybody together.”
The House will vote Wednesday on a resolution demanding the public release of the Mueller report, expected to be completed as soon as this month.
Talk about impeachment buzzed throughout the Capitol after the Washington Post on Monday quoted Pelosi saying I am not for impeachment” even though she doesn’t believe Trump is fit to be president.
“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path because it divides the country,” Pelosi said. “And he's just not worth it.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News, “I'm glad that she sees what the rest of us see, that there is no reason, no cause for impeachment.”
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-Manhattan), chair of the Judiciary Committee that would initiate impeachment proceedings, said on CNN, “With regard to impeachment, we're a long way from that.” He added, “Once we know all the facts, then we'll have to make judgments.”
Yet Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who has forced impeachment votes that an overwhelming majority blocked in December 2017 and January 2018, said on C-SPAN, “There will be another vote on it. I’m going to bring it to the floor of the House again.” He didn’t say when, though.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who was captured in a video after her swearing-in telling supporters “we’re going to impeach” Trump, also said Pelosi’s comments had not deterred her from the plans she announced last week to file an impeachment resolution this month.
“I'm going to move forward, obviously,” she told reporters. “No one, not even the president, should be above the law.”
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who filed an impeachment resolution on the first day of Congress in January, said he agreed with Pelosi. “When public opinion is in support of removal,” he said, “I am confident that the impeachment will go forward.”