Rep. Nancy Pelosi isn’t ruling out the possibility of starting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, depending on the outcome of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling.
“We have to wait and see what happens with the Mueller report,” Pelosi, D-California, said in an interview that aired Thursday on NBC’s “Today” show.
“We shouldn’t be impeaching for a political reason, and we shouldn’t avoid impeachment for a political reason.”
Democrats are assuming the majority in the House on Thursday, where the Constitution says impeachment proceedings must begin. Pelosi is poised to become House speaker after the new Congress convenes.
Pelosi previously talked down the possibility of starting impeachment proceedings against Trump, calling the issue divisive in a May 2018 interview with CNN.
“If the facts are there, then this would have to be bipartisan to go forward,” she told CNN. “But if it is viewed as partisan, it will divide the country, and I just don’t think that’s what we should do.”
She told PBS in November that the decision to impeach Trump would depend on Mueller’s investigation, “but that is not unifying.”
“I get criticized in my own party for not being more in support of that, but I’m not,” Pelosi said. “If that happens, it would have to be bipartisan and the evidence would have to be so conclusive. On the other hand, what people want us to do is address the concerns that they have in their lives.”
Pelosi told the “Today” show that it remains “an open discussion” whether a sitting president can be indicted while in office. She said Justice Department guidelines that barred such action did not appear to be conclusive.
“Everything indicates that a president can be indicted after he is no longer president,” she added.