Pelosi says America in a “constitutional crisis’ over Trump stonewalling

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she agreed with Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler that the country was “now in a constitutional crisis” as President Donald Trump’s administration continues to stonewall Congress for records and testimony related to the Russia investigation.

“Yes I do agree with Chairman Nadler because the administration has decided that they are not going to honor their oath of office,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters Thursday.

Nadler, D-N.Y., made the comments after the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress Wednesday for refusing to turn over an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

Pelosi said the full house would vote on the contempt of Congress “when we’re ready,” and suggested more news involving contempt could be forthcoming.

 “There may be some other contempt of Congress issues that we want to deal with at the same time,” she said.

The Trump Administration has shut down various requests for documents and testimony related to Russian interference in the 2016 election. And the House Judiciary Committee contempt vote on Wednesday is the first in what is expected to be a series of punitive actions the House is weighing against the administration.

Mueller’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election was released last month. The 448-page report detailed multiple contacts between Russian operatives and Trump associates during the 2016 campaign but said the investigation did not find evidence of a criminal conspiracy. The report documented a series of actions by Trump to derail the special counsel’s investigation, although it did not reach a conclusion on whether he illegally sought to obstruct justice.

Democrats have seized on details in the report as reason to continue investigating and Pelosi did not rule out impeachment in the end.

“We’re talking about a cumulative effect of obstruction that the administration is engaged in. And the president is declaring that he is not going to honor any subpoenas from the Congress. So I support the path that our chairmen are on and I do believe it will establish the case that we are on from here,” she said. 

Pelosi pointed out that it took months of investigations before Republicans backed impeachment of former president Richard Nixon. 

“It was months of hearings and investigation before they got to a place where they had a compelling argument that even the Republicans had to go to the president and say it’s over,” Pelosi said. 

Pelosi has long said impeachment would not be successful unless it was bipartisan.

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