Pelosi, Schiff defend impeachment probe, lack of formal floor vote

PHOTO: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) listens during a news conference discussing the College Affordability Act, Oct. 15, 2019, in Washington, DC.PlayZach Gibson/Getty Images
WATCH Schiff defends impeachment probe

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff expressed confidence in Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry and efforts to obtain records and testimony from the Trump administration in court, while defending their inquiry from Republican criticism.

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Pelosi defended their timeline, without providing any new updates on Tuesday, and dismissed questions about Republican calls for a formal floor vote.

"I'm not concerned about anything," she said. Republicans "can't defend the president so they're going to process."

Schiff warned the administration and witnesses to comply with Democrats' subpoenas.

"The evidence of obstruction of Congress continues to mount," he said. "We are nonetheless continuing to get good and important information from witnesses."

Schiff argued that the initial investigative work needs to be done behind closed doors because there is no special/independent counsel working quietly in private to investigate ahead of any impeachment process.

"I'm sure the president would like nothing better than for witnesses to ... know what others are saying," he said.

Schiff said "we will get to open hearings" with new and returning witnesses, and said Republicans have been "completely represented."

"We go until the questions are exhausted," he said. "They get to ask whatever questions they want."

Schiff said they will release transcripts at a later date, without divulging a timeline.

Despite speculation on Capitol Hill Tuesday that she would formally announce a floor vote on the parameters of an impeachment inquiry, Pelosi made no such announcement.

As members returned from a two-week recess, House Democratic leadership was checking in with members about a potential floor vote on impeachment, and how they would vote, according to aides.

Leadership emerged from the meeting on Tuesday evening without a decision, before gathering all House Democrats to update them on the impeachment investigation and answer questions.