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Impeaching President Trump ‘not a priority’ for Democrats, Pelosi says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
AP/file
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said impeaching President Donald Trump is ‘‘not a priority’’ for Democrats despite the conviction of Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and the guilty plea of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Pelosi told The Associated Press that ‘‘impeachment has to spring from something else.’’

Pelosi said she prefers for Democrats, if they win the House in November, to conduct oversight and ensure Special Counsel Robert Mueller can finish his work.

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‘‘If and when the information emerges about that, we’ll see. It’s not a priority on the agenda going forward unless something else comes forward,’’ she said.

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But the cases led Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to call on Republicans to delay Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, calling the legal developments ‘‘a game changer.’’

Schumer argued that Kavanaugh has refused to answer whether Trump can be forced to comply with a subpoena. He said that refusal, combined with Cohen implicating Trump in a federal crime, makes the danger of Kavanaugh’s nomination ‘‘abundantly clear.’’

He said the president is on the verge of making a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, which may soon determine the extent of his legal jeopardy.

He said the Senate shouldn’t confirm a justice who believes that presidents ‘‘are virtually above the law and only Congress can check a president’s power.’’

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However, the White House rejected the calls to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said the Democrats look ‘‘increasingly desperate,’’ and that the hearings will begin on Sept. 4 as scheduled and Kavanaugh ‘‘will be there.’’