Pelosi shuts Jerry Nadler down on impeachment after Mueller hearings

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi shut down Jerry Nadler when he proposed drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump
  • She said the idea was premature
  • Robert Mueller's flat testimony did nothing to change her mind about pursuing the impeachment process against Trump 
  • 'My position has always been: whatever decision we make in that regard would have to be done with our strongest possible hand,' Pelosi said
  • For their next moves, Democrats will try to force former White House counselor Don McGahn to testify after he defied a congressional subpoena

Speaker Nancy Pelosi shut down Jerry Nadler when he proposed drafting articles of impeachment against PresidentDonald Trump.

Pelosi told him the idea was premature when he brought it up during a closed-door Democratic caucus meeting in the Capitol Wednesday shortly after Robert Mueller finished testifying. 

There was a lengthy discussion on impeachment in that meeting,Politico reported.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi shut down Jerry Nadler when he proposed drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump+4

Speaker Nancy Pelosi shut down Jerry Nadler when he proposed drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump

Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is in favor of beginning impeachment proceedings against Trump+4

Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is in favor of beginning impeachment proceedings against Trump

And Nadler suggested having several of the Democratic committee chairmen get started on a draft of impeachment articles when Pelosi shot him down. 

Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, countered her by pointing out polls showed low support for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, until the process began - at which point the poll numbers rose, sources told Politico. 

Pelosi, however, has stuck to her argument on impeachment - a strong case is needed to move forward against the president - and Mueller's flat testimony did nothing to shift her stance.

'My position has always been: whatever decision we make in that regard would have to be done with our strongest possible hand, and we still have some outstanding matters in the courts,' she said at a press conference in the Capitol after he finished testifying Wednesday.

Mueller's public testimony - which House Democrats pushed for - disappointed many and left President Trump crowing.

Pelosi has argued she has six chairmen pursuing investigations of the president's business, his taxes, his administration and his 2016 campaign. 

And, given the unlikeliness of the Republican-controlled Senate impeaching the president, she and other Democrats have expressed concern over what impeachment proceedings would mean for moderate Democrats in the next election.

Pelosi was a leader in the House during the 1990s, when the Republican-controlled lower chamber began impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton, who was acquitted in the Senate. House Republicans lost control of the chamber in the next election. 

The speaker, however, showed no signs of disagreement with Nadler at the press conference which took place shortly after the party meeting, when the two stood together to talk about Mueller's performance and the party's next steps. 

'The stronger our case is, the worst the Senate will look for just letting the president off the hook,' the speaker argued about impeachment. 

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler held a press conference after Mueller testified+4

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler held a press conference after Mueller testified

And Nadler said his committee is going after former White House Counsel Don McGahn, who was a key witness in Mueller's report.

McGahn, at the request of the White House, refused a congressional subpoena to appear before Nadler's panel.  

'The very next step either tomorrow or Friday is we're going into court to ask for the grand jury material and to enforce the subpoena against Mr. McGahn. And that's particularly important because the excuses — I won't call them reasons — the excuses the White House gives for McGahn not testifying and the nonsense about absolute immunity etc. are the same excuses for all the other fact witnesses, and if we break that, we break the law,' Nadler said.

But Nadler also made the case for why Trump is guilty.  

The New York Democrat, who led the first round of questioning of Mueller Wednesday, argued Trump was only saved from indictment by legal precedent.

'Only the legal counsel's office's opinion that you can't indict a sitting president is saving the president from indictment. Because all the elements of these crimes were found with substantial evidence, and the people have now heard this, the president's chant of no obstruction is nonsense, his chant that he's been totally exonerated is a simple lie,' he said.

'Mueller made clear that the President is not exonerated,' Nadler said.  

The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has ruled a sitting president cannot be indicted. 

Mueller, himself, said in Wednesday's hearing that Trump is vulnerable to indictment after leaving office. 

For their next moves, Democrats will try to force former White House counselor Don McGahn to testify after he defied a congressional subpoena+4

For their next moves, Democrats will try to force former White House counselor Don McGahn to testify after he defied a congressional subpoena

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who led the second round of questioning against Mueller, said he wanted to be sure Democrats could win an impeachment case in the court of public opinion given the low odds of the Republican-controlled Senate convicting the president. 

'There are two juries in an impeachment. There is the jury which is the Senate which decides removal from office, and then there is the jury that is the American people,' Schiff said at a press conference in the Capitol after Mueller wrapped his testimony.

'And I'm most concerned about the jury that is the American people. And before we embark on a course as significant to the country as the impeachment of a president, I want to make sure that we can make that case to the jury of the American people,' he said. 

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