House speaker reportedly told Democrats I dont want to see him impeached in a closed-door meeting
Pelosi made the remarks during a closed-door meeting with senior Democratic lawmakers this week amid a heated debate within the party over whether to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump, according to a report by Politico.
Pressed on the issue by Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House judiciary committee, Pelosi said of Trump: I dont want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.
Pelosis spokeswoman, Ashley Etienne, would not confirm the speakers comments.
Speaker Pelosi and the chairs had a productive meeting about the state of play with the Mueller report, Etienne said. They agreed to keep all options on the table and continue to move forward with an aggressive hearing and legislative strategy, as early as next week, to address the presidents corruption and abuses of power uncovered in the report.
A spokesman for Nadler directed inquiries to the speakers office.
Pelosi, who has held firm despite growing calls for a formal impeachment inquiry within her caucus, made the case for defeating Trump in the 2020 election with the hopes that he will be prosecuted for his alleged crimes.
Her comments nonetheless mark a further escalation of the rhetoric she has employed against the president in the aftermath of special counsel Robert Muellers report in April of the Trump-Russia investigation, which detailed 11 instances in which Trump or his campaign sought to obstruct justice.
In recent weeks, Pelosi accused the president of engaging in a cover-up, characterized his actions as villainous to the constitution and made a joking reference to the 25th amendment which allows a president to be removed from office if he is deemed unfit to serve.
Trump had responded to the speaker by questioning her mental fitness and ignited further controversy by sharing a doctored video that was edited to suggest, falsely, that Pelosi was impaired.
House Democrats have meanwhile grown increasingly frustrated with the White Houses efforts to stonewall their requests for documents and subpoenas relating to the Mueller report, rendering it difficult to investigate further the special counsels findings.
The Trump-led blockade, coupled with a public statement by Mueller himself in late May saying he could not exonerate the president of committing a crime, has prompted more Democrats to embrace an impeachment inquiry and ramped up the pressure on Pelosi.
Although Pelosi has not ruled out an impeachment entirely, she has said pursuing that path would be divisive and play directly into Trumps hands as he embarks on his re-election campaign.
Nadler would not say if his committee would launch impeachment proceedings without Pelosis blessing, stating in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that the speaker will have the largest single voice in the matter.
Were investigating all the things we would investigate, frankly, in an impeachment inquiry, Nadler said.
Let me put it this way, he added. It may very well come to a formal impeachment inquiry. We will see.
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