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Pelosi: 'Trump is goading us to impeach him'

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump predicts GOP will win the House Hillicon Valley: Five takeaways on new election interference from Iran, Russia | Schumer says briefing on Iranian election interference didn't convince him effort was meant to hurt Trump | Republicans on Senate panel subpoena Facebook, Twitter CEOs | On The Money: Pelosi cites progress, but says COVID-19 relief deal might be post-election | Eviction crisis sparked by pandemic disproportionately hits minorities | Weekly jobless claims fall to 787K MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' 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 BarrBill BarrSeattle, Portland, NYC sue Trump administration over threat to pull federal money Trump says he doesn't actually want Whitmer, Biden and Obama to be locked up despite chants Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo MORE and tweeted that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE "should not testify" on his probe into Russia's 2016 election interference. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Pelosi cites progress, but says COVID-19 relief deal might be post-election | Eviction crisis sparked by pandemic disproportionately hits minorities | Weekly jobless claims fall to 787K Treasury sanctions Iran's ambassador to Iraq Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning 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. GreenRemoving slurs, bigotry from places on our maps paves the way to remove them from all aspects of our lives Safeguarding US elections by sanctioning Russian sovereign debt The Memo: Trump furor stokes fears of unrest 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.