In a Tuesday night meeting behind closed doors in Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly met with fellow Democrats to hold discussions about White House investigations and impeaching President Donald Trump.
During that meeting, according to Politico, Pelosi and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler skirmished. When pressed on why Pelosi still wasn’t on board with launching impeachment proceedings, she had an immediate explanation, which was overheard by Democratic sources in the room.
“I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,” Pelosi reportedly said.
Pelosi, staying true to her original plan, much prefers to see Trump defeated in 2020, which would then open up the ability for multiple investigations to take place into alleged wrongdoing.
That plan, however, has been the source of growing frustration within the Democratic party over past weeks, especially following Robert Mueller’s surprise press conference in which he stated that charging the president with a crime “was not an option.” That’s because long-standing Justice Department policy forbids charging a sitting president. Many Democrats interpreted Mueller’s words as a call for impeachment.
Pelosi, who reportedly appreciated the renewed calls for impeachment from her colleagues, explained that in order to travel down that road, two major conditions have to be met. The first one is public support and the second is bipartisan support — currently, the U.S. Senate is controlled by Republicans who would almost certainly smash impeachment proceedings in rapid fashion.
She reminded the group that Democrats have neither of those conditions at this point.
The rift between Pelosi and Nadler was made clear during a segment on CNN in which Nadler was asked if he and Pelosi were in agreement regarding a potential impeachment situation.
“We are investigating all of the things we would investigate, frankly, in an impeachment inquiry,” Nadler said.
He took a short pause before answering after he was asked if he and the Speaker were “on the same page.”
“When that decision has to be made, it will be made not by any one individual, it will be made probably by the caucus as a whole,” Nadler explained. “Certainly Nancy will have the largest single voice in it.”
On Wednesday, when questioned by reporters, Pelosi was nothing short of confident in her answer — even giving the podium a firm slap of her palm.
“Make no mistake, we know exactly what path we’re on. We know exactly what actions we need to take,” she said.
Politico reported that Pelosi met with Nadler in a separate meeting Tuesday night, joined by other top House Democrats such as Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, in which Nadler unsuccessfully again tried to push his case for going ahead with impeachment.