Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday left open the possibility that Democrats’ impeachment inquiry will continue into next year, saying she has “no idea” whether it would be finished by the end of December, the strongest indication yet that their probe into President Donald Trump could interfere with the 2020 presidential race.
Pelosi also refused to elaborate on what — if any — charges House Democrats would bring against Trump, notably declining to say whether the president’s Twitter attack on former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch during her testimony amounted to witness intimidation.
Pelosi and other senior Democrats have long declined to publicly commit to ending date to their impeachment investigation into whether Trump violated his oath of office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a top political rival.
Democrats have said privately they hope to finish the inquiry by the end of the year, allowing enough time for a possible Senate trial before voting starts in the presidential nominating contest, beginning with the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3.
But with House investigators still conducting closed-door depositions, a slate of public hearings set for next week and no indication yet of when the process will move to the House Judiciary Committee, Democrats have started privately worrying that the inquiry won’t be finished before Congress leaves for Christmas next month.
“I have no idea,” Pelosi told “Face the Nation“ host Margaret Brennan when asked whether the investigation would be wrapped up by the end of this year.
“It is self-evident that we have open hearings for the next week. I don’t know if there are any beyond that,” she added, noting the possibility that depositions could continue into Thanksgiving week. “And then when we come back [from Thanksgiving], maybe a decision or maybe they have more hearings.”
Speaker Pelosi has “no idea” if the impeachment inquiry will wrap up by December, the strongest indication yet that it could interfere with the 2020 presidential race.
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A top aide to Vice President Pence said that Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine were “unusual and inappropriate.” The president responded by calling her a “Never Trumper.”
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Republicans, meanwhile, continued to downplay the president’s pressure campaign on Ukraine while largely leaving the facts of what unfolded throughout the summer undisputed.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) on “Fox News Sunday“ reiterated that Ukraine did eventually receive the $391 million in military aid at the center of the Democrats’ impeachment investigation.