Pelosi to Colbert: Impeachment inquiry 'very sad,' but necessary

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Ginsburg successor must uphold commitment to 'equality, opportunity and justice for all' Bipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Pelosi orders Capitol flags at half-staff to honor Ginsburg MORE (D-Calif.) said the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE is a "sad thing" for the country in a Thursday interview after the House voted to approve procedures for the probe. 

"This is a sad thing for our country," Pelosi told comedian Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertColbert: Trump sharing fake 'F--- tha Police' video made Biden 'way cooler' White House officials deny Trump bears responsibility for social unrest Pelosi questions level of Trump 'responsibility' after 'brazen' shooting of Wisconsin protesters MORE. "We do this prayerfully, with great seriousness. Nobody goes to Congress to impeach a president."

The TV host asked Pelosi about her reaction to learning about a July phone call in which President Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate Republicans face tough decision on replacing Ginsburg What Senate Republicans have said about election-year Supreme Court vacancies Biden says Ginsburg successor should be picked by candidate who wins on Nov. 3 MORE

"I prayed for the United States of America," she replied. "It's very a sad thing. We don't want to impeach a president. We don't want a reality that a president has done something that is in violation of the Constitution." 

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Some lawmakers had called for impeachment before revelations about the call, but after it, a chorus of Democrats including Pelosi expressed support for an impeachment inquiry. The lawmaker also addressed this in the interview. 

"So much had happened before and I had not been, shall we say, enthusiastic about the divisiveness that would occur," she said. "But this was something that you could not ignore. In one conversation he undermined our national security by withholding military assistance to a country that had been voted on by the Congress of the United States. ... At the same time, he jeopardized the integrity of our elections."

"In doing so, in my view, he possibly violated his oath of office," Pelosi added. 

She also called the call "a smoking gun."

The House voted Thursday, largely along party lines, to approve the impeachment investigation after weeks of witness depositions. One matter Democrats are looking into is whether there was a quid pro quo between Trump and Zelensky over the now-released military aid. 

Trump has denied that there was a quid pro quo or that he did anything wrong in his dealings with Ukraine.