Progressives said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's press conference Wednesday morning demonstrated she is not treating the Democratic impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump with the necessary focus and urgency.
"Donald Trump is tweeting about coups and civil wars and Speaker Pelosi is failing to lead," Heidi Hess, co-director of Credo Action, said in a statement following the news conference. "Her feckless leadership to date has left both the caucus and the public confused about the impeachment process."
Pelosi, flanked by House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), insisted House Democrats are working deliberately to hold Trump accountable for his misconduct.
"We will have investigations and questioning that are worthy of the Constitution of the United States," said Pelosi. "It's unworthy of the Constitution of the United States to do what he did in that call, and he admitted it to me. He said it's 'perfect.' No, it's not perfect. It's wrong."
But, at certain moments, Pelosi treated the news conference as business as usual, expressing hope that she can still cut an infrastructure deal with the president her party is investigating for criminal behavior.
Nancy Pelosi says she still hopes to do an infrastructure bill with Trump pic.twitter.com/lLvs5V0HOp
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 2, 2019
Hess said Pelosi's remarks on Wednesday showed she is "refusing to elevate impeachment to the level of urgency it deserves, failing to make the case for impeachment to the American public, and continuing to stonewall on a timeline."
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"Unless Speaker Pelosi proves immediately that she is working with her committee chairs to ensure that a broad set of articles of impeachment that encompasses the full range of Trump's offenses will be voted out of committee by Nov. 1 with a full House vote by Nov. 15," said Hess, "she is being complicit in Trump's ongoing betrayal of our democracy."
— CREDO Mobile (@CREDOMobile) October 2, 2019
During Pelosi and Schiff's news conference, Trump railed against the impeachment probe as "bullshit" and hurled insults at the two Democrats.
"Adam Schiff should only be so lucky to have the brains, honor, and strength of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo," Trump tweeted. "For a lowlife like Schiff, who completely fabricated my words and read them to Congress as though they were said by me, to demean a First in Class at West Point, is SAD!"
Trump's tweet came after Schiff warned against any effort by the president, Pompeo, or other administration officials to obstruct Congress's ability to call relevant witnesses.
"It will allow an adverse inference to be drawn as to the underlying facts," said Schiff. "If they are going to prevent witnesses to testify on the allegations and complaint, that will create an inference that those allegations are correct."