If the goods are there, you must impeach, says Pelosi - GulfToday

If the goods are there, you must impeach, says Pelosi


Donald Trump gestures after a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Agence France-Presse

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday said that if Democrats’ multiple investigations of President Donald Trump find significant wrongdoing, the chamber would have to move to impeach him.

“If the goods are there, you must impeach,” Pelosi told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

Her remarks were in response to a question on whether there is an alternative option of simply voting to censure the president, an idea that Pelosi said is not under consideration.

Pelosi repeated her concerns about the need for public support for any impeachment process, which could result in the removal of Trump from office if approved by the House followed by conviction in the Senate.

No Republican senator has yet come out in favor of such an effort and House Democrats are divided about going ahead with impeachment, which never in US history has resulted in the removal of a president.

Pelosi has walked a fine line of showcasing the legislation the Democratic-controlled House has passed or has in the pipeline - from ethics reforms and new gun safety measures to protecting some immigrants from deportation - versus the wide-ranging investigations of Trump.

She noted the importance of the Department of Justice’s agreement to provide Congress with a less-redacted report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election and 10 instances in which Trump tried to interfere with Mueller’s investigation.

Pelosi’s remarks came as former top Trump aide Hope Hicks appeared before the House Judiciary Committee in a closed session to answer questions about potential obstruction of justice by Trump and related matters.

Hicks was mentioned in Mueller’s report multiple times.

In saying Trump “must” be impeached if that is warranted by House investigations, it was not clear whether Pelosi was moving in that direction after months of talking about the divisiveness of impeachment. At one point earlier this year she even said that Trump was “not worth” impeaching.

“If we’re going to go down this path... we have to make sure the public has an understanding of why,” and senators understand their constitutional duty to hold Trump accountable for any wrongdoing, Pelosi said on Wednesday.

On the other hand, Hope Hicks, once a close aide to Trump, drew fire from Democrats on Wednesday for not answering questions during a closed House Judiciary Committee session about whether her former boss broke the law.

White House lawyers asserted immunity for Hicks on matters involving her 14 months in the Trump administration, continuing the strategy of not cooperating with investigations by the Democratic-led House of Representatives.

Lawmakers wanted to ask the 30-year-old publicist about six instances in which Democrats believe Trump may have broken the law during the 2016 presidential campaign and while in the White House. But Hicks’ responses were so limited that she would not even tell them where her White House office was, Democratic lawmakers told reporters.

Hicks also was directed not to answer questions about material she already told Special Counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation of Russian election interference and possible obstruction by Trump, the lawmakers said.

“They make the objection, we say it’s nonsense. But Hope Hicks is listening to what they’re saying in terms of objections, so she doesn’t answer,” US Representative Ted Lieu said.

Lieu said Hicks did answer questions about the campaign but did not elaborate.

Democratic lawmakers said White House lawyers did not claim executive privilege but argued that Hicks was immune from having to testify, which they called a “bogus” position that does not exist in law.

“No prior president has engaged in such a transparent effort to block his own former aides from testifying about the president’s misconduct,” Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said in a letter to the White House counsel.

Hicks was Trump’s campaign press secretary and White House communications director until she left in March 2018 and later became chief communications officer and executive president for Fox Corporation, parent company of Fox News.


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