Elijah Cummings draws red line on impeachment, praises 'phenomenal' Pelosi's handling
House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., maintained his hesitation towards impeaching the president on Wednesday -- but said that he would pursue proceedings if his administration disobeys a court order.
"The day that any administration disobeys a court order then I'm for impeachment," Cummings said during an event at the National Press Club on Wednesday.
He prefaced that statement by indicating that he would continue following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's, D-Calif., guidance on the issue. "The time for impeachment may come, and I take the guidance of this phenomenal woman Nancy Pelosi because I'm on the inside," he said.
During the event, Cummings heaped praise on the speaker who has faced mounting pressure to impeach the president -- something she has repeatedly resisted, citing political and practical reasons.
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By Friday, a majority of her caucus, apparently moved by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's testimony, had called for the House to pursue impeachment proceedings. Pelosi seemed to respond by reassuring her colleagues of Cummings' and other committee chairs' work investigating the president.
"Our litigation has been strengthened by the months of work from our six committees which are engaged in the investigations. Fifty-four percent of House Democrats serve on these committees engaged in hearings and investigations, and I am very proud of their work," she said on Friday.
Committee Democrats enjoyed beefed up legal authority after administration official refused to comply with subpoenas. The House responded by passing a resolution that empowered House Democrats to use the services of the House counsel to take their subpoena fights to court. It would also give congressional committee chairs the ability to unilaterally "initiate" judicial proceedings to enforce future subpoenas in federal court.
During Wednesday's event, Cummings indicated that defiance of a court order would represent a new, troubling low for the administration.
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"By that time, we're in trouble. I mean, we're in big trouble. What that says is that the laws do not matter," he said. Cummings made similar comments on Saturday when he told reporters he wanted to treat the president fairly in the investigative process.
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"Remember, I'm not — I haven't called for his impeachment, and I'm trying to be fair to him, too. I want to be fair. That's why we need to do our research," he said, according to Politico.
His committee has been involved in a court case seeking financial information to determine whether the president violated the Emoluments Clause and "the truthfulness of representations contained in the President’s statutorily required financial disclosure forms," Pelosi said.
Fox News' Gregg Re contributed to this report.