Rep. Mike Turner: Pelosi encourages Schiff and ‘his minions’ to continue their pursuit of Trump

Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, a Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encourages House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and "his minions" to continue their pursuit of President Trump “as if he’s the most significant threat to our national security instead of our adversaries."

Turner added that it is “certainly interrupting real congressional work that needs to be done.”

“The intelligence committee should be working on issues such as Russia and China, North Korea and Iran” instead of focusing on Trump, he said.

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Turner made the statements on “America’s Newsroom” a day after House Democrats participated in a conference call with party leadership to discuss their next steps after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report.

While some have pushed for impeachment, Pelosi, D-Calif., already has stated her opposition to launching impeachment proceedings, saying in an interview last week it would  be “divisive” and “just not worth it."

“The Constitution gives very limited authority for Congress to remove a president, impeachment. It requires crimes and high misdemeanors. The founding fathers could have drafted the Constitution to say that Congress could remove the president if they just didn't like them. But that's not the case. They cannot just put political party or their own political wishes above the electorate which viably elected the president of the United States,” Turner said.

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Fox News is told by two senior sources on the private conference call that Pelosi and her leadership team were clear there were no immediate plans to move forward with impeachment. Well-placed sources said it was a spirited 87-minute call involving more than 170 Democratic members, including Schiff.

"We have to save our democracy," Pelosi said during the call, according to the sources. "This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about saving our democracy. If it is what we need to do to honor our responsibility to the Constitution – if that’s the place the facts take us, that’s the place we have to go."

Pelosi asserted that more investigations were needed: "We don’t have to go to articles of impeachment to obtain the facts, the presentation of facts.”

“In this instance, we see that Congress is now saying through Nancy Pelosi that they're going to continue their investigations. Congress does have a limited authority in which to investigate the president. I think we're probably going to see a lot of court interpretation as to where congressional authority ends and where it begins," Turner said in response.

"You can't just begin to investigate a president for the purposes of seeking reasons to remove him. In this instance, I think that people need to stop putting political party ahead of the interests of the American public.”

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Turner added, “Congress needs to get back to work to see how we can improve the lives of the American public, not just improve their political parties.”