Pelosi: House will not vote on impeachment probe ‘at this time’

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Tuesday they will not hold a House floor vote to initiate a formal investigation right now. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Oct. 16 (UPI) — House Democrats will not hold a floor vote to formally authorize an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump “at this time,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday, stating they are not here to call the Republican Party’s “bluffs” but uphold the Constitution.

“There is no requirement that we have a vote and so at this time we will not be having a vote and I’m very pleased with the thoughtfulness of our caucus in terms of being supportive of the path we are on in terms of fairness, in terms of seeking the truth, in terms of upholding the Constitution of the United States,” she said in a press briefing following a meeting with House Democrats.

The Republican Party has said the Democrats’ closed-door investigation into Trump’s alleged constitutional violations is illegal as the House hasn’t held a formal vote to instigate it. White House counsel has also said the lack of a vote is why it is not cooperating with the Democrats’ requests for information.

A formal vote would force both Republicans and Democrats to go on the record, which the Republican Party has said the Democrats are unwilling to do.

The California Democrat retorted that the Republicans are focusing on the process because they can’t defend Trump’s actions.

“We’re not here to call bluffs. We’re here to find the truth, to uphold the Constitution of the United States,” she said. “This is not a game for us. This is deadly serious and we’re on a path that is taking us to a path to truth.”

Trump has come under heightened scrutiny following a whistle-blower complaint that accuses him of attempting to coerce Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the phone in July to investigate the business dealings of former vice president and opponent in the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden, and his son in exchange for promised military assistance.

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Several committees have been investigating the complaint, including the House Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who said the Republicans are attempting to deflect conversation about the inquiry to process because they don’t want to discuss Trump’s conduct.

“They would much rather discuss process because they can’t defend the president’s conduct, and every time they’re asked you see just how difficult, how indeed impossible it is to justify the unjustifiable,” he said.

Concerning the investigation, Schiff said they have made “dramatic progress” in the past few weeks due to testimony of “courageous” State Department officials who were put in the “impossible situation by the administration.”

“We’ve learned that the call was not in isolation, we’ve learned that there was a great deal of preparatory work that was done before the call,” he said. “There was a lot of follow-up work that was done after that call.”

He said there is “a complete effort” by the Trump administration to stonewall their investigation through not complying with subpoenas for information.

On Tuesday, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, said he would not comply with a subpoena seeking documents related to the phone call. His lawyer called the inquiry in a letter to Congress “unconstitutional, baseless and illegal” as justification for his client’s refusal to cooperate.

Schiff said they are learning of additional information that they are being denied.

“The evidence of obstruction of Congress continues to mount,” he said.

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