House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might not be the most enthusiastic supporter of impeaching President Trump; she reportedly wants a far worse fate.
According to a report Wednesday evening in Politico, Mrs. Pelosi told her fellow Democrats that she wants to see Mr. Trump behind bars.
Mrs. Pelosi upped the ante at a Tuesday night private meeting with other top Democrats to settle strategy and turf issues on whether to impeach the president, a path about which Mrs. Pelosi has been publicly dubious and remained so at the meeting.
“I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,” Mrs. Pelosi said, Politico reported, citing “multiple Democratic sources familiar with the meeting.”
The sources told Politico that the speaker’s preferred strategy is to have Mr. Trump defeated in the 2020 election and, once out of office, prosecuted by a Justice Department no longer hamstrung by the constitutional difficulties a criminal probe of a sitting president creates.
A major part of Mrs. Pelosi’s opposition to impeachment is that it wouldn’t remove Mr. Trump from office, unless two-thirds of the Senate agreed to convict him. The Republican-majority chamber shows very little to no inclination to do that, she and many political observers have argued. A criminal prosecution would not be so constrained.
Pelosi spokeswoman Ashley Etienne gave Politico a non-committal response.
The speaker and her panel chairs “had a productive meeting about the state of play with the Mueller report. They agreed to keep all options on the table and continue to move forward with an aggressive hearing and legislative strategy, as early as next week, to address the president’s corruption and abuses of power uncovered in the report,” Ms. Etienne said.