Pelosi: 'Trump is goading us to impeach him'

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

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 BarrPelosi says she will view less-redacted version of Mueller report Pelosi says she will view less-redacted version of Mueller report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's reelection message: Promises kept MORE and tweeted that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE "should not testify" on his probe into Russia's 2016 election interference. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinSchumer requests investigation into Trump admin decision to delay bill featuring Harriet Tubman Schumer requests investigation into Trump admin decision to delay bill featuring Harriet Tubman Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record 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. GreenJulián Castro pledges 0B green infrastructure fund in housing proposal Julián Castro pledges 0B green infrastructure fund in housing proposal We can do right by the planet and the economy 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.