Pelosi: 'Trump is goading us to impeach him'

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPatagonia says to shut stores for a few hours during Global Climate Strike Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Progressives push for changes to Pelosi drug pricing plan MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE is trying to goad Democrats into impeaching him in an attempt to rally his base ahead of the 2020 election.

House Democrats allied with Pelosi have been facing pressure from Republicans, who see an advantage in trying to highlight divisions among the left over impeachment. 

"Trump is goading us to impeach him," Pelosi said at an “Inside Congress” event sponsored by Cornell University’s Institute of Politics and Global Affairs. "That's what he's doing. Every single day, he's just like, taunting, taunting, taunting, because he knows that it would be very divisive in the country, but he doesn’t really care. [He] just wants to solidify his base."

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Pelosi noted that one of the articles of impeachment against former President Nixon was for ignoring congressional subpoenas. House Democratic leaders are pushing for continuing with aggressive investigations of the Trump administration instead of rushing to impeachment proceedings, but have been stymied by the White House's resistance to complying with the probes.

Over the weekend, Trump contradicted Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrDemocrats to seek ways to compel release of Trump whistleblower complaint Democrats press Nadler to hold Lewandowski in contempt The Hill's 12:30 Report: Questions swirl around Trump whistleblower complaint MORE and tweeted that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE "should not testify" on his probe into Russia's 2016 election interference. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinLawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Graham clash over Iran policy Liz Cheney calls for 'proportional military response' against Iran MORE formally rejected House Democrats' demands for Trump's tax returns. And on Tuesday, the White House ordered former counsel Don McGahn not to comply with a House subpoena, saying Trump may wish to exert executive privilege. 

"In the articles of impeachment for Richard Nixon, Article 3 was that he ignored the subpoenas of Congress. That could be part of an impeachable offense. Every day he's obstructing justice by saying this one shouldn't testify, that one shouldn't testify, and the rest. So he's making a case. But he's just trying to goad us into impeachment, and wherever you go, I say to my colleagues: whatever it is, be ready. And whatever it is, we'll be ready. And again, we owe that as a precedent for the future as well," Pelosi said.

Recent polling since the release of a partially redacted version of the Mueller report indicates the broader public isn’t clamoring for impeachment. A NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey released on Sunday found that 48 percent of respondents opposed impeachment, while only 17 percent want impeachment hearings now. Another 32 percent support continuing investigations to see if there’s enough evidence to begin impeachment proceedings at a later date.

A handful of liberal House Democrats have been pressing Democratic leaders to move forward with impeachment. Rep. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment Methane emissions continue to drop Two coal miners demand McGrath stop using their images in McConnell attack ad MORE (D-Texas) has repeatedly threatened to force another House floor vote on impeachment, as he did in the last session of Congress while Republicans controlled the House.