- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she still has reservations about initiating impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, whose administration evaded numerous congressional requests for information relating to his finances and staff this week.
- Behind closed doors, Pelosi expressed her frustration with the Trump administration and appeared to empathize with her Democratic colleagues, according to a Washington Post report published Thursday.
- “I think I’m an expert on why he shouldn’t be president of the United States,” Pelosi said of Trump during a private meeting, according to notes from unnamed sources cited in The Post. “I think impeachment is too good for him.”
- She continued: “But one person knows more why he shouldn’t be president of the United States, and that is Donald Trump. And he tells us every single day.”
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she still has reservations about initiating impeachment proceeding against President Donald Trump, whose administration evaded numerous congressional requests for information relating to his finances and staff this week.
At a press conference on Thursday, Pelosi justified her long standing reluctance to begin the impeachment process, calling it “the easy way out” for Republicans who are “complicit in the special-interest agenda,” because they know the effort would “end at the Senate’s edge.”
If Pelosi, as House Speaker, approves the process, an article of impeachment would have to get through a House vote. If an article passes in the House, two-thirds of the Senate would still have to vote to convict the president.
This means that at least 20 Senate Republicans would have to cross the party line.
Behind closed doors, Pelosi expressed her frustration and empathized with her Democratic colleagues.
“I think I’m an expert on why he shouldn’t be president of the United States,” Pelosi said during a private meeting, according to notes from unnamed sources that were cited in The Washington Post. “I think impeachment is too good for him.”
“But one person knows more why he shouldn’t be president of the United States, and that is Donald Trump,” she said. “And he tells us every single day.”
Related: Nancy Pelosi through the years
UNITED STATES – JULY 23: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, right, and Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, shakes hands while addressing the media before a meeting at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 23, 2009. Maliki pledged to mend sectarian divisions and fight corruption as he urged the international community to continue providing support to his nation. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, right, shakes hands with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, following a meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. During their closed-door meeting, Pelosi expressed strong concerns about Trump’s decision to name former Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon to be his chief White House strategist, and asked him to reconsider the appointment. Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Pool via Bloomberg
Other Democratic leaders have fallen in line with Pelosi. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, suggested that instead of gambling with impeachment proceedings against Trump, the safer bet would be to “vote his ass out of office” in the 2020 presidential election.
“I think people recognize whether he could be indicted or not, that his conduct is unethical, probably criminal in terms of at least the obstruction of justice,” Schiff said in an HBO interview, adding that “we have it in our power, we have it within our numbers to turn out and vote him out of office.”
Lawmakers have issued numerous requests for information on Trump and his administration in recent weeks. The requests range from Trump’s tax returns to a testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn.
Trump has called the Democrats’ requests “ridiculous” and vowed to fight them.
“Congress shouldn’t be looking anymore. This is all. It’s done,” Trump said during a Fox News interview on Thursday. “I’ve given total transparency. It’s never happened before like this. They shouldn’t be looking anymore. It’s done.”