House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not now support impeaching President Donald Trump despite thinking that he's unfit for the country's highest office, according to a Washington Post magazine interview published Monday.
Pelosi knew she was making news by telling the Post she doesn't favor impeachment, as she said so directly in the interview.
"Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country", she continued.
US President Donald Trump delivered the State of the Union address, with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, at the Capitol in Washington, DC on February 5, 2019.
Pelosi's decision to announce that she is not for impeachment before Mueller's report is even released - breaking from the standard she's set for months - will certainly draw criticism.
Several panels in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, including one headed by House judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler, have just opened investigations into nearly every aspect of Mr Trump's life.
It's important to point out that public opinion on impeachment has fluctuated since the new Democratic Congress has taken power.
"He's brought us to the brink of nuclear war", Steyer said in one nationally televised ad.
"If and when the time comes for impeachment, it will have to be something that has such a crescendo in a bipartisan way", she said, for instance, in a CBS News interview in early January.
"I think the speaker is correct in saying they won't impeach him", he said.
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"There's so much evidence that this president should be impeached it's hard to keep track of it all", major liberal donor Tom Steyer tweeted Monday afternoon.
"I'm not going into that", Pelosi said.
Other lawmakers who have called for impeachment looked at Pelosi's comments more practically.
I was shocked Pelosi's statement because it seemed to me it was "well we're not going to do it right away, we don't have enough stuff right now", it was a statement of direction.
Sherman said that the multiple Democratic investigations of Trump might be a substitute for impeachment, "it's also possible it will be a prelude".
Republicans alternately praised Pelosi and were skeptical. But Pelosi's suggestion that she doesn't support those moves at all because "he's just not worth it" won't sit well with some in her caucus.
Pelosi insisted later in the interview that it is her view Trump is "ethically" and "intellectually" unfit to be president, but she doesn't believe that ought to be her focus. We shouldn't be going towards looking to impeach this guy, even though we have a hell of a lot of evidence already.
The claim that "he's just not worth it" is particularly freaky - impeachment is the ultimate sign that someone isn't worthy of the powers of the presidency. Heading into the midterm elections, she discouraged candidates from talking up impeachment, preferring to stick to the kitchen table issues that she believes most resonate with voters. As long as Republicans assert that they disagree the president should be impeached, the argument is, de facto, over, based on Pelosi's reasoning.
"There have, of course, been cases when impeachment investigations have been unifying, as with Richard Nixon", Raskin added.More news: UFC star McGregor arrested in Miami Beach
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