House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., walked a fine line on Wednesday as she tried to assure party colleagues that lawmakers in the House will continue looking into impeaching President Trump, while advocating against rashness.
Pelosi spoke in San Francisco just hours after exiting Special Counsel Robert Mueller made a statement recapping his investigation's findings and emphasizing that his report did not exonerate the president of obstruction. The House speaker praised Mueller’s work but promised to continue investigating Trump.
“We want to do what’s right and what gets results,” Pelosi said. “We’re legislating, we’re investigating and we’re litigating.”
She added, “Everybody wants justice, everybody wants the president to be held accountable.”
Pelosi has been a bind ever since a redacted version of Mueller’s report was made public in April, clearing the president and his 2016 campaign of any collusion with Russian officials but leaving it to Congress to decide if Trump had obstructed justice.
Since the release of Mueller’s report, many leading Democrats in both the House and the Senate have called for impeachment proceedings to be brought against Trump, with those calls only getting louder on Wednesday/
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., whose committee would play a starring role in any impeachment effort, said during a New York City news conference on Wednesday afternoon, “With respect to [the] impeachment question, at this point all options are on the table and nothing should be ruled out.”
In an earlier statement, Nadler, the top Democrat on the committee, vowed that Congress would "respond."
"Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the president, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump – and we will do so," Nadler said in a statement. "No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law."
The call for impeachment was also taken up by numerous Democratic candidates running for the White House in 2020, with South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg saying Mueller’s statement is “as close to an impeachment referral as it gets.”
“Robert Mueller could not clear the president, nor could he charge him — so he has handed the matter to Congress, which alone can act to deliver due process and accountability,” Buttigieg tweeted.
Pelosi has maintained that Democrats should not begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, but has faced increasing pressure from members in her caucus to reverse course.
Pelosi has faced accusations from fellow Democrats of holding off on impeachment for political reasons, while House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., told members at a meeting last week to keep vulnerable freshman lawmakers in mind as they decide how to proceed with investigations or impeachment.
A senior House Democrat told Fox News last week that Pelosi “isn’t going to be able to hold off on impeachment much longer,” and that the speaker may have to change her position “within the next two weeks.”
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.