Pelosi: 'Trump is goading us to impeach him'

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSally Yates: Moral fiber of US being 'shredded by unapologetic racism' Al Green calls for additional security for House members after Trump rally #IStandWithPresTrump trends in response to #IStandWithIlhan MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis 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 BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP DOJ, Commerce slam House Dems contempt vote as 'political stunt' White House blasts 'shameful and cynical' Barr, Ross contempt vote MORE and tweeted that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats 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 MnuchinMnuchin says White House, Pelosi have deal on top-line budget numbers The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Administration pushes back on quick budget deal: 'We have a way to go' 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. GreenAl Green doubles down on calls for impeachment Al Green calls for additional security for House members after Trump rally The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP 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.