House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talked tough on Thursday regarding the impeachment inquiry that she launched earlier this week.
She focused in part on how the White House has been accused in a whistleblower complaint of removing the electronic transcript for a July call between President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart from a government computer system, loading it instead onto a separate system intended for material that’s sensitive from a national-security perspective. The complaint refers to those alleged moves as an effort to “lock down” information.
“That’s a cover-up,” Pelosi told reporters during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill. “Whatever other explanation there might be, an explanation is also that it is a cover-up.”
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She also said that Trump “has been engaged in a cover-up all along,” referring to his maneuvers around Deutsche Bank documents that House Democrats have sought and other matters.
In addition, Pelosi on Thursday criticized the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, who on Thursday testified to lawmakers that a whistleblower “did the right thing” in filing a complaint that alleges Trump sought foreign interference in the U.S. elections.
“I think what the DNI did was broke the law,” she said, referring to how Maguire went to the White House first and delayed conveying the whistleblower complaint to lawmakers who oversee intelligence agencies.
Pelosi also aimed to frame her recent efforts as measured rather than rushed.
“There are some in our caucus who think, ‘Let’s just have an impeachment.’ No, we have to have an inquiry to further establish the facts,” the California Democrat said. “There is no rush to judgment.”