U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday said that if Democrats' investigations of President Donald Trump find significant wrongdoing, the chamber would have to move to impeach him.
"I think there is a recognition that there are more than 30 seats that are held by new Democratic members in districts that Trump won [in 2016], and a concern that an impeachment inquiry could jeopardize those members and Democratic control of the House".
Pelosi said some House Democrats have suggested simply censuring Trump. Unlike impeachment, censure would not automatically trigger a Senate trial on whether to remove Trump from office.
Secondly, impeachment in the House is political, not legal.
During the weekend, Pelosi told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that there is nothing more divisive than impeaching the president, which is why Democrats must "handle it with great care".
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 USA presidential election and 10 instances in which Trump tried to interfere with Mueller's investigation.
Former White House communications director Hope Hicks is seen leaving a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee of a lunch break, at the Capitol in Washington, June 19, 2019. "The multiple instances of obstruction laid out in the Mueller report necessitate that the House launch an impeachment inquiry".
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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. She was, however, allowed speak about her time on the Trump campaign.
Still, even as the ranks have grown slowly - New York Democrat Brian Higgins also called for Trump's impeachment this week -it's likely to take more to push Pelosi and the House toward formal impeachment proceedings.
Democrats on the committee said lawyers representing the Trump administration blocked Hicks from answering questions 155 times.
Hicks was accompanied by six lawyers, including three from the White House and one from the Department of Justice. While she worked at the White House, Hicks was reportedly romantically involved with Rob Porter, who served as White House staff secretary until February 7, 2018. Witnesses who have appeared (this week, e.g., former Trump aide Hope Hicks) are refusing to answer substantive questions, he said, adding that it appears Congress might not receive Trump's tax returns before next year or even end of term.
Lawmakers peppered Hicks with questions about the Trump campaign's inner workings.
Sixty-five House Democrats are calling for an impeachment inquiry, according to the Hill's latest whip list.