Pelosi talks impeachment inquiry, 2020 elections

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sits down with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith during the closing keynote of The Texas Tribune Festival. They discussed the impeachment inquiry, Texas’ blue congressional future and party unity.

Photo Credit: Blaine Young | Daily Texan Staff

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said the facts behind the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump are “self-evident” and justified, formally launching an investigation. 

Pelosi ended the Texas Tribune Festival in a one-on-one conversation with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith. Last Tuesday, Pelosi announced the House Intelligence Committee would launch an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

“Let us try not to make it further divisive, but we cannot ignore our oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies — foreign and domestic,” Pelosi said. 

On Constitution Day, Sept. 17, a whistleblower alleged Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open a corruption investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son during a July 25 phone call, days after the president withheld financial aid to the Ukraine. 

Pelosi said the values of the Founding Fathers were violated on Constitution Day, the day they should have been honored.

“The president engaged in something that's so far beyond what our founders had in mind,” Pelosi said. 

The committee, currently chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), will investigate allegations of foreign collusion. Pelosi said the committee will have access to more information than previous House investigations.

“The difference between 10 days ago and now are the facts that were revealed in that letter,” Pelosi said. “This is a cause for investigation.”

There is currently no timeline for the inquiry’s completion, Pelosi said, because of the gravity of the investigation. 

Facing the 2020 election, Pelosi said she is confident the Democratic Party will maintain the majority in the House of Representatives.

“I do believe we will win again,” Pelosi said. “We have kept our promises.”

Pelosi said she believes a “blue wave” will hit Texas in 2020. The Senate race in Texas gained national attention in the 2018 midterms when now-2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke lost by less than three percentage points to incumbent Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). It was the closest Senate race in the state in 40 years, according to the Texas Tribune. 

“Texas is our hope for the future,” Pelosi said. “When Texas goes blue, people will have to pay attention to everything that happens here.”

Pelosi said the Democrats have more of the public’s support because the party accurately represents the country. 

“Our diversity is our strength,” Pelosi said. “Our unity is our power.”