Nancy Pelosi On Trump: Dems Should Support Impeachment And Indictment

Just hours before Democrats were set to take control of the House after the beginning of the 116th Congress, where Pelosi is widely expected to be elected speaker, becoming the first lawmaker to ever serve in the role twice during two non-consecutive terms, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi sat for an interview with the Today Show's Savannah Guthrie where she discussed her position on government shutdown standoff and the prospects for impeaching or indicting President Trump.

After she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer worked to shut down Democratic efforts to push articles of impeachment against Trump for expressly political reasons (they feared it might impact Democrats' prospects during the midterms), Pelosi has shifted her rhetoric, saying she's now "open" to the idea of impeaching Trump - but that it shouldn't happen for expressly political reasons.

If the Mueller report justifies impeachment proceedings, Pelosi sees no reason why Congress shouldn't pursue it.

"I do not think that that is conclusive," Pelosi said.

"I think that that is an open discussion. I think that is an open discussion in terms of the law."

"We have to wait and see what happens with the Mueller report. We shouldn't be impeaching for a political reason, and we shouldn't avoid impeachment for a political reason. So we'll just have to see how it comes."

Pelosi followed this up by insisting that it's "an open discussion" whether a sitting president can be indicted, she insisted that Trump could absolutely be indicted after leaving office.

Already, restive Dems are pushing for impeachment proceedings to begin, with Dem. Rep. Brad Sherman having introduced articles of impeachment against Trump on Thursday, the first day of the 116th Congress.

The interview then turned to the topic du jour - the fight over the partial government shutdown - where Pelosi stood her ground, saying Democrats wouldn't approve any money for Trump's border wall, though they would be open to striking a deal for funding on "border security."

"No, no. Nothing for the wall. We're talking about border security," she said. "There is no amount of persuasion he can do to say to us, 'We want you to do something that is not effective, that costs billions of dollars.' That sends the wrong message about who we are as a country."

When Guthrie pressed her about whether the Democrats should accept some responsibility for the shutdown because they refused to cut a deal on the wall, Pelosi promptly dismissed that suggestion.

Asked about her reported comment that she said Trump's fixation on the wall was a "manhood thing," Pelosi replied that she "wished her members had not repeated that outside the room."

Finally, asked if President Trump would treat her differently after she (presumably) becomes speaker, Pelosi refused to speculate.

"I have no idea."

With the Mueller report expected some time during the first half of this year, the question remains: Will Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson be proved right about Trump's prospects for impeachment in 2019.