House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday that she expects public hearings in the House's impeachment probe against President Donald Trump to begin later this month.
In a discussion with Bloomberg reporters and editors Friday, Pelosi said, "I would assume there would be public hearings in November," but she also said that any case investigators bring against the president "has to be ironclad."
The speaker, however, did not commit to a timeline for impeachment proceedings or for when the probe would move out of the current phase of closed-door testimony, saying that depositions would continue as long as they prove to be "productive."
"I don't know what the timetable will be," she said. "The truth will set us free."
The clandestine nature of the impeachment probe so far has drawn considerable criticism from congressional Republicans, who argue that the testimony from witnesses should be given publicly, rather than behind closed doors. However, those defending the current stage of the probe liken it to a grand jury or special counsel investigation.
"The special counsels in the Nixon and Clinton impeachments conducted their investigations in private and we must initially do the same," Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) wrote in a letter to colleagues last month.
There's also the question of how long the overall process is expected to take. While House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has said that he would like to see the chamber finish up its impeachment work by the end of the year, Pelosi wouldn't rule out the possibility of running over into the 2020 election year, noting what she called "a mountain of concerns to be brought up," as well as the possibility that other leads might come up the course of the investigation.
Pelosi also told Bloomberg that the outcome of this process isn't a forgone conclusion, saying, "We have not made any decisions on if the president will be impeached."