Table of Contents
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she would like to see President Donald Trump in prison. The speaker’s comments came this Tuesday during a meeting with Senior Democrats about the Mueller investigation.
In the meeting, Pelosi disagreed with House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler about the possibility of impeaching President Donald Trump.
Nadler and other House Democrats have been doing everything they can to push the Trump impeachment forward. However, Pelosi doesn’t think that impeachment is a good strategy until the measure has more support. Pelosi seems to be playing both sides, by siding with her party in rhetoric but not in practice.
Pelosi believes that the courts can hold Trump legally and criminally accountable if Americans vote him out of office.
“I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,” Pelosi said, according to Politico‘s sources.
Pelosi Playing Politics
This was a cunning political move for Pelosi because it allows her to signal support for both Democrats and Republicans. Ever since impeachment became a possibility, Pelosi has maintained that she will only support the measure under certain conditions.
First, impeachment would need to have strong backing from both Republicans and Democrats, which has not yet materialized. Second, the general public would need to be united in support of impeachment. However, Americans do not agree about Trump or his policies, and remain divided along political lines.
For these reasons, Pelosi is still hesitant on the issue of impeachment, despite her disdain for Trump. Pelosi is still one of Trumps greatest adversaries, but she is currently protecting him from more aggressive House Democrats.
Trump Responds To Pelosi
Trump indirectly addressed Pelosi during an interview on Fox News with Laura Ingraham at the Normandy American Cemetery. The President told Ingraham that Democrats would make “fools of themselves” if Mueller testified before Congress.
“Nancy Pelosi, I call her ‘Nervous Nancy’, Nancy Pelosi doesn’t talk about it. She’s a disaster. She’s a disaster. Let her do what she wants, you know what? I think they’re in big trouble,” Trump said.
During the closed-door meeting where Pelosi said she wanted to see Trump in prison, House Democrats also discussed Mueller’s testimony.
According to sources at the meeting, Nadler said that Mueller could receive a subpoena within two weeks. However, Mueller is currently only willing to answer questions from Congress in private, not in public.
Nadler said that it is essential that Mueller testify.
“We want him to testify openly. I think the American people need that. I think, frankly, it’s his duty to the American people. And we’ll make that happen,” Nadler said.
Mueller doesn’t that he should have to testify because he published such an extensive report. Mueller said that he has already laid out all of his evidence in the report.
“I hope and expect that this is the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. The work speaks for itself. The report is my testimony,” Mueller said.
History Of Impeachment In US Politics
Impeachment is incredibly rare in US politics and has only happened a few times in US history.
The first US president to face impeachment was Andrew Jackson, in 1868. Jackson was controversial for favoring the south in the aftermath of the civil war.
However, the technical reason for his impeachment was the dismissal of Edwin M Stanton as secretary of war. The second President to face impeachment was Bill Clinton, in 1998, for lying about an affair.
Both Jackson and Clinton remained in office after their impeachment proceedings. In both cases, Congress was not able to gather the two-thirds majority votes needed to convict them.
President Richard M. Nixon also faced impeachment after the Watergate scandal in 1974. However, there was far more public support against Nixon’s impeachment and far more evidence against him.
To avoid impeachment, Nixon instead resigned from office. If he faced trial, Nixon would have likely become the only president in US history to lose office through impeachment.