House approves access resolution

Pelosi:?House impeachment support ‘not even close’

WASHINGTON — Brushing back calls for impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday “it’s not even close” to having enough support in the House, while Democrats pushed forward on other fronts to investigate President Donald Trump.

The House voted 229-191 to approve a resolution that will allow Democrats to accelerate their legal battles with the Trump administration over access to information from the Russia investigation.

At the same time, they’re convening hearings this week on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, in an effort to boost public interest in the findings of the Trump-Russia probe while digging into a legal strategy aimed at forcing the administration into compliance with congressional oversight.

“We need answers to the questions left unanswered by the Mueller report,” Pelosi said on the House floor ahead of voting.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy countered that the Democratic maneuvers are all “just a desperate attempt to relitigate the Mueller investigation.” He called it “an impeachment effort in everything but name.”

Earlier in the day, Pelosi all but ignored questions about impeachment during a policy conference, saying the Democrats’ strategy is “legislating, investigating, litigating” — in that order.

Pressed about Trump, she said: “I’m done with him. I don’t even want to talk about him.”

The House’s far-reaching resolution approved Tuesday empowers committee chairs to sue top Trump administration officials — Attorney General William Barr, former White House counsel Don McGahn and others — to force compliance with congressional subpoenas, including those for Mueller’s full report and his underlying evidence. They now no longer need a vote of the full House.

The Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, urged his colleagues to support the legislation “so we can get into court and break the stonewall without delay.”

It’s unclear how quickly Democrats will go to court. House leaders have signaled they will hold off on suing Barr after the committee struck a deal with the Justice Department to receive some underlying materials from Mueller’s report. Nadler said the department will provide some of Mueller’s “most important files” and all members of the committee will be able to view them.

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