In a rare Dear Colleague letter sent to Democrats and Republicans on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that if the Trump administration refused to turn over a whistleblower report, it “will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,” leading many to believe she is hinting at possible impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
“If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the President, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,” Pelosi wrote, referring to the administration blocking acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from disclosing the contents of a whistleblower report alleging Trump asked the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on business dealings by Hunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, in the country.
Maguire is scheduled to testify in front of the House Intelligence Committee, led by Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). Schiff also suggested impeachment as a possibility on Sunday, telling Jake Tapper, that impeaching Trump “may be the only remedy that is coequal to the evil that conduct represents.”
In her letter, Pelosi said she expects Maguire to turn over the full whistleblower complaint at the time of his testimony and “that he will establish a path for the whistleblower to speak directly to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees as required by law,” saying that not turning it over is in violation of a federal statute that “unequivocally states that the DNI ‘shall’ provide Congress this information” and that this is a matter of national security.
Pelosi also called on Republicans “to join us in insisting that the Acting DNI obey the law as we seek the truth to protect the American people and our Constitution.”
Thus far, the speaker and Schiff have appeared highly reluctant to impeach, claiming that it would be pointless and would not get past the Republican senate. Instead, Pelosi has advocated for voting Trump out of office in 2020 as a remedy to his corruption. Even in an NPR interview on Friday, she said she had not changed her mind on impeachment and instead wanted to pass a law that would allow future presidents to be indicted — currently, a decades-old Justice Department policy states that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
Still, hinting at potential impeachment without even saying the word is far from where many Democrats want Pelosi to be. Nearly two-thirds of the Democratic caucus and the majority of Democratic presidential candidates are in favor of impeaching the president. Meanwhile, seven out of ten Democratic voters want to see Trump impeached.