House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said President Trump is “goading” the Democrats to impeach him because he believes it would help him solidify his base.
Pelosi has resisted calls by fellow Democrats to impeach the president following the release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia probe.
“Don’t tell anybody I told you this,” Pelosi said, prompting laughter from the audience at an “Inside Congress” event sponsored by Cornell University’s Institute of Politics and Global Affairs on East 44th Street in Manhattan.
“Trump — I use his name — Trump is goading us to impeach him,” she said. “That’s what he’s doing. Every single day, he’s just like taunting, taunting, taunting.”
Pelosi said Trump “knows that it would be very divisive in the country, but he doesn’t really care. He just wants to solidify his base.”
She said the Democrats will not fall into that trap.
“We can’t impeach him for political reasons, and we can’t not impeach him for political reasons. We have to see where the facts take us,” she said.
The speaker added that Congress’ powers of impeachment are a justification for Democrats to be given access to the unredacted Mueller report and its associated investigative materials.
She noted that Mueller opted to not definitively clear Trump of obstruction of justice partly because of the Justice Department’s stance that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
But Congress has other options besides indictment, she said.
“We need this information in case we want to exercise other options,” Pelosi said as she reiterated that she is not yet prepared to launch impeachment proceedings.
“That might take us to a place, but we have to have more — I believe we have to have more information,” she said.
Regardless of whether Democrats ultimately decide to impeach the president, Pelosi said “the Constitution will win the next presidential election.”
“We cannot accept a second term for Donald Trump if we are going to be faithful to our democracy,” she said, noting the way to make sure that happens is by taking the fight to the public.
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