Nikki Haley says Trump does not deserve 'death penalty' impeachment proceedings

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley says she does not believe President Trump will be impeached or removed from office, adding that her former boss does not deserve what she termed “the death penalty” for being elected commander-in-chief.

Haley, who announced her resignation from the Trump administration last October, made the remarks in an interview set to air this weekend on "CBS Sunday Morning." A portion of the interview was released late Friday.

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"You're going to impeach a president for asking for a favor that didn't happen and -- and giving money and it wasn't withheld?" Haley told CBS News anchor Norah O'Donnell. "I don't know what you would impeach him on. And look, Norah, impeachment is, like, the death penalty for a public official."

"You're going to impeach a president for asking for a favor that didn't happen and -- and giving money and it wasn't withheld? I don't know what you would impeach him on."

— Nikki Haley

Last week, the House approved rules for an already ongoing impeachment inquiry that stemmed from an anonymous intelligence community whistleblower’s complaint about a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A transcript of the call released by the Justice Department showed Trump urged Zelensky to probe Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who was reportedly making seven figures working for a Ukrainian natural gas company. The redacted memo also does not show any quid pro quo.

"When you look at the transcript, there's nothing in that transcript that warrants the death penalty for the president," Haley said.

O'Donnell then interjected: "To be clear, it was not a complete transcript. There are still things that are missing from it. And in it, he does say, 'I would like you to do us a favor,' though."

"When you look at the transcript, there's nothing in that transcript that warrants the death penalty for the president."

— Nikki Haley

"The Ukrainians never did the investigation," Haley continued. "And the president released the funds. I mean, when you look at those, there's just nothing impeachable there. And more than that, I think the -- the biggest thing that bothers me is the American people should decide this. Why do we have a bunch of people in Congress making this decision?"

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Congress has been conducting closed-door interviews with several witnesses in order to determine whether Trump initially withheld congressionally approved military aid for Ukraine as a form of leverage to force Zelensky to launch the probe against Biden, who is a Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, and, therefore, Trump’s political rival.