House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a group of Democrats that she wanted to see President Trump locked up behind prison bars, Fox News and other outlets report.
“I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,” Pelosi said during a meeting with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, Fox News reports, citing “multiple Democratic sources familiar with the meeting.”
Here’s more from the report:
Pelosi wants to hold the president accountable, the sources said, but thinks voters should get him out of office in 2020, after which he could possibly face criminal charges.
Nadler and dozens of Democrats have been pressing Pelosi to hold impeachment hearings, but the speaker reportedly believes there should be public and bipartisan support to launch the process, according to Politico.
Pelosi has previously said the president’s actions “are villainous to the Constitution of the United States.”
A Pelosi spokesperson told the New York Post the lawmakers “had a productive meeting about the state of play with the Mueller report. They agreed to keep all options on the table and continue to move forward with an aggressive hearing and legislative strategy, as early as next week, to address the president’s corruption and abuses of power uncovered in the report.”
The spokesperson did not directly address whether Pelosi made the remark about Trump that was attributed to her.
Politico first reported the comment attributed to Pelosi, as someone in the meeting leaked it to the outlet.
The report adds that Democratic leaders were at odds with how to handle the issue of impeachment. From the report:
In Tuesday’s meeting, some committee chairs expressed frustration about the appearance that rank-and-file members — rather than party leaders — were leading the caucus’ oversight strategy, including what they do on impeachment, according to one source familiar with the meeting.
But not all committee leaders were supportive of the impeachment inquiry. Both Schiff and Neal argued that if Democrats are going to open an inquiry, they should also be prepared to impeach Trump, which the caucus isn’t ready to do, they said. Cummings also sided with Pelosi, according to a source.
Neal also grumbled about Democrats who have come out in favor of impeachment, saying it puts pressure on members in bordering congressional districts to explain why they don’t feel the same way. House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) — whose district touches Neal’s — came out for impeachment last week.
Reports of inner disagreements comes as a surprise as Pelosi and Nadler have publicly said they are on the same page.
“We are investigating all of the things we would investigate, frankly, in an impeachment inquiry,” Nadler told CNN via Politico.
“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 continued. “Certainly Nancy will have the largest single voice in it.”
Pelosi, similarly, described that “there is no controversy” within her Democratic caucus on the issue of impeachment.
“Make no mistake, we know exactly what path we’re on. We know exactly what actions we need to take,” Pelosi added.
Here’s even more, via Politico:
Democratic leaders continue to emphasize that their methodical, step-by-step oversight process is working, pointing to recent federal court victories Democrats have secured against Trump’s efforts to block them. Nadler is also still trying to secure Mueller’s testimony before his committee.
But for a growing number of Democrats, including several members of the Judiciary Committee, opening impeachment proceedings is the only recourse.
Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), all members of Democratic leadership and the Judiciary panel, first raised the idea of launching an impeachment inquiry during a private leadership meeting late last month only to be shot down by Pelosi.
Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and other top Democrats met with Nadler separately that night as he again unsuccessfully argued for opening an impeachment inquiry.
Nadler, Raskin and other lawmakers say opening an inquiry doesn’t necessarily result in impeachment and would strengthen their legal case as Democrats pursue Trump in court in an effort to force him to comply with their investigations.