Nancy Pelosi Delivers Statement On Impeachment Inquiry | NBC News (Live Stream Recording)

Channel: NBC News
Published: 12/05/2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi provides an update on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver ...

You this is an nbc news, special report, here's savannah guthrie morning, everybody it's 9:00 a. m. in the east. As we come on the air, the house speaker, nancy pelosi is about to make a statement on the impeachment investigation. It will take place on capitol hill and, of course, follows yesterday's testimony in congress. Three legal scholars called by democrats arguing that the president did kim ...
te commit impeachable offenses by trying to muscle a foreign country into helping his reelection. But another expert brought in by republicans said there was not enough evidence to impeach nbc's peter alexander at the white house to catch us up on everything in the president already tweeting this morning. What can you tellus peter, hey savannah good morning to you as we wait to hear from the house speaker nancy pelosi? We are hearing from the president, who has repeatedly attacked the house impeachment inquiry, focusing instead on a likely senate trial where he and white house aides believed he would get acquittal much more easily. Here is the tweet from the president a short time ago saying, among other things, if you are going to impeach me, do it now fast, so we can have a fair trial in the senate and so that our country can get back to business. I spoke to kellyanne conway, the president's counselor just moments ago. She described the house impeachment process, including the proceedingsyesterday as ill-conceived and illegitimate, but by the president's tweet savannah. It is clear that he is growing impatient with this process.

Even as many republicans say, it's moved too quickly. It'S obvious that he wants to get to the next step likely in the new year, where it's expected that he would be acquitted by the republican-controlled senate savannah, and that question of course brings us to jeff bennett and covers capitol hill for us and jeff. I first of all, if you have any indication on what speaker pelosi might be saying when she goes to that microphone, that we're showing right there in a couple of moments and and this issue of timing, how quickly they wantto move and that's what we hope we Can get from the house speaker today? Savannah is some clarity, some concrete next steps about where this impeachment inquiry heads next, because house democrats have hinted that they intend to bring two potentially three articles of impeachment against president trump, ranging from abuse of power obstruction of congress. Potentially even obstruction of jeff, and then you also have a handful of house democrats who've told our team that it's their understanding that the full house will vote on whatever articles of impeachment that the house judiciary committee drafts sometime by the end of the year sometime before Congress adjourns on december 20th for the christmas break, what we don't know yetis how we get from from here to there. So we hope that the house speaker today we'll use her comments at least part of them to fill in the gaps. I suspect, though, having sat through many press conferences before with speaker pelosi where she has the attention of the country focused on her that she will spend at least part of her time ticking through the hundreds of bills. That house democrats have passed that the republican senate has not picked up, and one of the reasons she'll make. That point is that it's meant to counter the white house talking point that democrats have done nothing except focus on impeachment since the summer since september, really whenthis whole thing started, so she will likely speak about that. She'Ll likely speak about the work that chairman adam schiff house, intelligence, chairman, adam schiff and jerry nadler, that the chairman of the house judiciary committee, have done so far. As house democrats have said, they've tried to move forward with a somber and sober pelosi has said prayerful. Even tone as they've approached this issue of potentially trying to remove president trump from office. The calendar is so important here jeff.

I i should add that she's expected to just make a statement here and then at 10:45 eastern time then do in her regular news conference and take questions. So she seems to have something in particularshe wants to say here at this time on this matter of impeachment. We'Ll hear it in a minute, as we wait here for her to come to those microphones on capitol hill. There have been some reporting jeff that within the democratic conference within the ranks of democrats themselves, there was something of an internal debate about whether to refine this impeachment issue narrowly to the matter with ukraine or expand it to encompass some of the findings. In the moller report, you know where that debate stands at the moment, and this is it's such a great point that you make, because one of the reasons why democrats now control the house is because you have those dozensof democrats who were able to flip districts that President trump won in 2016 that those democrats won in 2018. So it's those democrats, those democrats who represent right-leaning districts, who i'm told or really nervous about potentially going this extra step and expanding the impeachment inquiry to include the findings of the russia investigations are really not when every leader yeah here is speaker, pelosi approaching the microphone. Let'S hear what she have a: let us begin where our founders began in 1776, when, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another. With those words, our founders courageously began our declaration of independence, froman oppressive monarch, for among other grievances, the king's refusal to follow rightfully past laws. In the course of today's events, it becomes necessary for us to address, among other grievances, the president's failure to faithfully execute the law when crafting the constitution. The founders feared the return of a monarchy in america and, having just sparked a war of independence, they specifically feared the prospect of a king president, corrupted by foreign influence during the constitutional convention. James madison, the architect of the constitution, warned that a president might betray his trust to foreign powers, which might prove fatal to the republic. Another founder of governor morris feared that a president may be bribed by a greater interest tobetray his trust.

He emphasized that this magistrate is not the king. The people are the king. They therefore created a constitutional remedy to protect against the dangerous or corrupt leader impeachment. Unless the constitution contained an impeachment provision, one founder warned a president might quote spare no effort or means whatsoever to get himself re-elected. Similarly, george mason insisted that a president who procured his appointment in his first instance through improper and corrupt acts, might repeat his guilt and return to power during the debate over impeachment at the constitutional convention, george mason also asked: shall any man be above justice? Shall that man be above it who can commit the most extensive injustice in his great wisdomhe, knew that injustice committed by the president erodes the rule of law. The very idea that a fair justice, which is the bedrock of our democracy. And if we allow president to be above the law, we do so surely at the peril of our republic in america. No one is above the law over the past few weeks through the intelligence committee working with the foreign affairs and oversight committees. The american people have heard the testimony of truly patriotic career public servants, distinguished diplomats and decorated war heroes, some of the president's own appointees. The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security, bywithholding military aid and crucial oval office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival. Yesterday, the judiciary committee at the jesse airy committee, the american people, heard testimony from leading american constitutional scholars who illuminated without a doubt that the president's actions are profound violation of the public trust.

The president's actions have seriously violated the constitution, especially when he says and acts upon the belief article tube says i can do whatever i want know. His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our constitution: a separation of power, three co-equal branches, each faced check-and-balance on the other, a republic. If we can keep said benjamin franklin, our democracy is what is atstake. The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt once again the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections. His actions are in defiance of the vision of our founders and the oath of office that he takes to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states, sadly, but with confidence and humility with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for america. Today i am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment. I commend our committee chairs and our members for their sombre approach to actions which iwish the president had not made necessary in signing the declaration of independence. Our founders invoked a firm reliance on divine providence democrats to our prayerful, and we will proceed in a manner worthy of our offer, though, for oath of office to support and defend the constitution of the united states from all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us god. Thank you house, speaker nancy pelosi with comments of about five minutes in which she announces that the house democrats will proceed with articles of impeachment against president trump. Those are essentially the formal charges against the president and the next necessary step. As the house democrats seek to impeach president trump, if those articles of impeachment werepassed, they would then go to the senate where there would be a trial and he would have to be convicted by two-thirds vote of the senate in order to be removed from office.

Aware in the middle of a process here let me turn to peter alexander. In some ways this was an expected step, but there is a certain momentous, nough stew. It when the house speaker says quote the president leaves us no choice. She says that he has abused his power and tried to corrupt the election and that she feels that they have been left in no other position but to proceed in this manner. Yes of an, in effect the words from nancy pelosiare, full steam ahead to house democrats to move forward with articles of impeachment, as expected now, despite would have been a series of marathon hearings. We have seen it's really a short timeline that the democrats are working with right now that they would review the evidence now begin the process of drafting articles of impeachment and try to hold a vote. As indicated by many democrats on the hill right now before lawmakers break for christmas, that's only a couple of weeks away from now, so there was a small window in which time this would be likely to recur occur if there was any expectation or even speculation that It might be more politically advantageous to pursuecensure against the president that might be able to draw away some house republicans. It'S clear that nancy pelosi's position is. We must pursue impeachment here which, as you note, will then tee up a likely senate trial in the new year. Just yesterday, some of the president's top aides meeting with senate republicans strategizing their position on that, as the president himself indicated today. He said, in effect, let's get on with this: let's do this next year with a senate trial, where the president believes he will have a more fair trial. The white house indicating it would be more likely to participate in that process already indicating from aides this morning that they would want joe bidenamong others to be called adam schiff to be called as witnesses.

So in much the same way. That republicans have criticized the democratic process as partisan. It'S very likely. The democrats would say the same of republicans if a senate trial were to take place in the new year savannah well, and that brings me to jeff bennett who covers the hill for us jeff in the in the house democratic impeachment process. It'S the democrats who control the house and they control the process on the senate. The exact opposite is true, and the senate, the republican leader mitch mcconnell, will set the rules for the process of any trial and, as peter just alluded to that, couldlead to a very different situation unfolding and, of course, the bar for removal is, is much higher. You just need a simple majority in the house to to pass the articles of impeachment, which are like the charges, but in the senate you need that two-thirds verdict as it were, to remove a president you're right. You need 67 of the 100 senators and, as i sit here and talk to you there really there are not 20 republican senators who are going to join with the 45 democrats and two independent senators who caucus with the democrats. What'S interesting, though, about listening to house speaker, nancy pelosi comments is that i think she telegraphed potentially two articles ofimpeachment, the first one being abuse of power which is connected to president trump's dealings with his ukrainian counterpart, which democrats refer to as the extortion plot or the Bribery scheme, but the other was obstructing congress. This really epic stonewalling that house democrats say that they've had to put up with where the white house has not made witnesses and evidence available to house democrats for democrats to do their oversight work, even even under subpoena. So what we expect next week, there will probably be an open session. The house judiciary committee will hear the evidence and then from there they will write these articles of impeachment that the house speaker is now directing house democrats to moveforward with all right, jeff bennett.

Thank you so much peter alexander, thank you to you as well. So the news this morning house speaker nancy pelosi from the steps of capitol hill and now say the next formal steps in the impeachment investigation that house what the house democrats will draft these articles of impeachment formal charges against president trump she's saying that she did so Sombrely prayerfully and with humility and invoked the founders who put the impeachment cause in our constitution. We will have much more right now on msnbc, also nbc news, calm and tonight on nightly news. Of course, most of you will return out to today. I'M savannah guthrie in new york, this hasbeen an nbc news special report: [ music ], you.

Watch Next