“Don’t tell anybody I told you this: Trump is goading us to impeach him,” Pelosi said during an event sponsored by Cornell University in New York City. “That’s what he’s doing. Every single day, he’s just like, taunting and taunting and taunting.”
Pelosi argued Trump is daring them to impeach him because he believes it would help him “solidify his base” ahead of his 2020 re-election. Pelosi said that puts Democrats in a dilemma.
“We can’t impeach him for political reasons, and we can’t not impeach him for political reasons,” Pelosi said. “We have to see where the facts take us.”
Before Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his report on the Russia investigation, Pelosi stated her opposition to launching impeachment proceedings against Trump, calling it “divisive” and “just not worth it." But Pelosi is now facing mounting pressure from those inside her party who say the report’s details having to do with accusations of obstruction of justice lays the groundwork in Congress for impeachment proceedings.
She said she believes Mueller – who did not reach a conclusion on obstruction -- “practically said” in his report that you can’t indict sitting president but “Congress has other options.”
The White House is resisting the subpoenas, with Trump arguing he adequately cooperated with Mueller’s probe, so it’s not necessary to hand over more information to Democrats. Referencing the spat over subpoenas from House Democrats, Pelosi said, “We need this information in case we want to exercise other options.”
Pelosi said, “Our impeachment power is justification for us getting that information.”
Speaking of the 2020 election, Pelosi said, "We cannot accept a second term for Donald Trump if we are going to be faithful to our Democracy and to the Constitution of the United States
At one point during the discussion, Pelosi was asked about impeachment by an attendee who said he can’t bring himself to say Trump’s name, referring to the president as just “T.”
“I can’t say his name – it’s just not worth it,” the attendee said, also referring to impeachment as the “I word.”
Pelosi quipped back, “Thank you for that -- for the ‘T’ and the ‘I.’”
Fox News’ Maria Paronich contributed to this report.