House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday noted a common misconception that the impeachment of a president means immediate removal from office, as she continued to call for a deliberate approach in building a case against President Trump.
“Do you know that most people think impeachment means you’re out of office?” Pelosi said at a news conference. “They think, if you get impeached, you’re gone. And that is completely not true. And I may have thought that myself 50 years ago.”
Pelosi’s comments come as a growing number of Democrats are calling for the launch of impeachment proceedings against Trump. Some in the caucus, however, have voiced fear about the political consequences if Trump is impeached by the Democratic-led House, only to be acquitted by the Republican-led Senate.
Pelosi has called for methodically investigating episodes detailed in the report of former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III that may have amounted to obstruction of his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Pelosi compared the House’s role in impeachment proceedings to bringing an indictment. “When you’re impeaching somebody, you want to make sure you have the strongest possible indictment,” she said.
Pelosi also pushed back against critics of her approach.
“Make no mistake, we know exactly what path we’re on,” she said. “We know exactly what actions we need to take.”
Pelosi’s comments came a day after a coalition of more than two dozen liberal groups wrote her a letter expressing frustration about her reluctance to move forward on impeachment, saying she was “giving us political excuses” rather than exercising leadership.
The groups signing the letter include CREDO Action, Free Speech for People, MPower, Movimiento Cosecha, Democracy for America, Indivisible, Working Families Party and Women’s March.
Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report.