Nikki Haley Compares Impeachment To Death Penalty

Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley attends a media briefing during the United Nations General Assembly.
Stephanie Keith / Getty Images

In an interview with CBS News broadcast on Friday, former United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley compared impeachment to the death penalty.

During an interview with anchor Norah O’Donnell, Haley argued that impeachment is like “the death penalty” for a public official, claiming that President Donald Trump‘s impeachment can also be compared to the ultimate punishment.

“You’re gonna impeach a president for asking for a favor that didn’t happen and — and giving money and it wasn’t withheld?” Haley asked.

“I don’t know what you would impeach him on. And look, Norah, impeachment is, like, the death penalty for a public official,” she added.

According to the former U.N. ambassador, there is nothing problematic about Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the transcript — released by the White House — proves that the commander-in-chief did nothing wrong during his contacts with the Ukrainian government.

“When you look at the transcript, there’s nothing in that transcript that warrants the death penalty for the president.”

O’Donnell pushed back against Haley’s claims, pointing out that the White House memo is not an actual transcript of the conversation, and that it nevertheless shows Trump telling Zelensky that he needs a “favor,” which suggests that he had a quid pro quo agreement with the government of Ukraine.

The commander-in-chief is being accused of pressuring the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in what is being described as an effort to damage the elder Biden’s presidential campaign. Trump allegedly threatened to withhold military aid unless Ukrainian authorities do as he says.

According to Haley, given that Ukraine never actually investigated the Bidens, and since the military funds have been released, House Democrats do not have a convincing case.

The former Trump administration official said that “there’s just nothing impeachable there.”

Haley concluded the interview arguing that the greatest issue pertaining to impeachment is not the fact that Trump is being investigated, but the fact that the United States Congress is making the final decision on whether to impeach and remove him.

“Why [do] we have a bunch of people in Congress making this decision?” Haley inquired.

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In September and October, rumors swirled that Haley, who resigned from her post last year, is looking to replace Vice President Mike Pence on the Republican ticket in 2020. It has also been rumored that she might challenge Trump in the Republican primary.

However, the former U.N. ambassador shot down the allegations, and she has since attended Republican fundraisers and publicly praised the president. In an October interview, she argued that Trump “has a record every American should be proud of,” suggesting that the president’s accomplishments are unmatched when it comes to foreign policy.