House Speaker Nancy Pelosi affirmed Tuesday night that she wants to see President Donald Trump “in prison”. Her comments came Tuesday night in a heated clash with House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler over the feasibility and timing of launching an impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Politico reports that “ Nadler and other committee leaders have been embroiled in a behind-the-scenes turf battle for weeks over ownership of the Democrats’ sprawling investigation into Trump.” The Speaker, widely considered to be the most formidable female politico in the world, stood her ground, with the support of other committee leaders. Their investigations would stop if an official impeachment inquiry is stopped.
“I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,” Pelosi said, according to multiple Democratic sources familiar with the meeting. Instead of impeachment, Pelosi still prefers to see Trump defeated at the ballot box and then prosecuted for his alleged crimes, according to the sources.
The Speaker again affirmed that without public support and strong bipartisan backing — neither of which exist — she is not inclined to launch impeachment proceedings, preferring instead to outline Trump’s alleged “crimes” through committee hearings.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) were also present for the meeting. Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) — “a vocal impeachment supporter whose panel is probing Trump’s finances” — didn’t attend.
Both Schiff and Neal argued that an impeachment inquiry should not be opened if Democrats haven’t already committed to impeachment proceedings. The caucus isn’t at all ready to make that commitment. There are internal accusations that New York Democrat Nadler is grandstanding, seeking to undermine the efforts of other committees investigating the president. Those investigations would cease if the Judiciary committee opens an official impeachment proceeding.
Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) criticized the most progressive rank and file Democrats commanding the airwaves to call for impeachment. New York Democrat Nadler answered questions about the alleged dispute between himself and Pelosi on CNN Wednesday.
“We are investigating all of the things we would investigate, frankly, in an impeachment inquiry,” Nadler said on CNN. He then paused for several seconds when asked if he and Pelosi 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 added. “Certainly Nancy will have the largest single voice in it.”
“Make no mistake, we know exactly what path we’re on. We know exactly what actions we need to take,” Pelosi told reporters at her regular Wednesday press conference. The Speaker hit her palm on the podium to insure that everyone got her message. earlier Wednesday,