A day after saying President Donald Trump is “goading” Democrats to impeach him for the purpose of “solidify[ing] his base of supporters,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi doubled down on her comments.
While Pelosi still opposes introducing articles of impeachment against Trump, Pelosi said Wednesday that Trump is “becoming self-impeachable” due to his efforts to ignore Congressional subpoenas and prevent key individuals from testifying before Congress.
“Every single day, whether it’s obstruction, obstruction, obstruction–obstruction of having people come to the table with facts, ignoring subpoenas,” Pelosi said during the Washington Post Live event, “every single day, the president is making a case–he’s becoming self-impeachable, in terms of some of the things that he is doing.”
On Tuesday, Pelosi had gone further, comparing Trump’s actions to those of President Richard Nixon: one of the articles of impeachment against the latter president was that he ignored congressional subpoenas.
“That could be part of an impeachable offense,” Pelosi said. “I say to my colleagues: whatever it is, be ready. And whatever it is, we’ll be ready. And again, we owe that as a precedent for the future as well.”
On Wednesday, Trump asserted executive privilege over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The move came just hours before the House Judiciary Committee was due to meet to hold a vote declaring Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for his failure to turn over the report.
But Pelosi argued that such stonewalling by the Trump administration is intended to distract the public from their efforts to undermine the Democratic legislative agenda on issues ranging from health care to climate change.
“Everyday when they’re doing these things, they’re taking attention away from other things that they’re doing, things we are doing,” she said. “Last week, when the attorney general was before the Congress misrepresenting the facts, he was, at the same time, pressing his case to completely eliminate the Affordable Care Act.”
And ultimately, Trump is “goading” Democrats into impeachment because he knows “that that’s not a good thing for the country,” Pelosi said.
But Pelosi doesn’t plan to go that route.
“Impeachment is a very divisive, very divisive course of action to take,” she said. “We shouldn’t do it for passion or bias; it has to be about the presentation of fact. And it has to be about patriotism, not about partisanship.”
Barr, on the other hand, she might be more open to impeaching.
“Nothing is ever off the table,” Pelosi said.