Pelosi acknowledged to late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel that Trump “knows it’s not a good idea to be impeached.”
But, she noted:
“The silver lining for him is, then he believes that he would be exonerated by the [Republican-controlled] United States Senate. And there’s a school of thought that says, ‘if the Senate acquits you, why bring up charges against him in the private sector when he’s no longer president?’ So when we go through with our case, it’s got to be ironclad.”
Pelosi has so far refused to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump, despite growing calls from within her own party to do so.
Kimmel pressed her on the issue repeatedly during their interview.
At one point, he asked if Democrats would “be ready before the year 2020?”
“Yeah, we will,” Pelosi responded.
Kimmel noted how special counsel Robert Mueller said in his Wednesday press conference that “if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, then we would have said that.” Mueller also appeared to indicate that the ball was now in Congress’ court.
Pelosi said “we’ve been on that path” of gaining information “for a while” and “when we do get to where we’re going, we’re going to be ready.”
“Our Founders, in the darkest days of the Revolution, they said, ‘The times have found us,’” she added. “Well, I think right now the times have found us. We have a defiance of the Constitution of the United States, and so when we go down this path, we have to be ready, and it has to be clear to the American people, and we have to hope that it’ll be clear to the Republicans in the United States Senate.”
“The public deserves to know the truth, the facts,” she added.
Pelosi said she has “a better idea as to what the president has to be accountable for than anyone.”
“He knows. He knows what his violations have been,” she claimed.
Kimmel disagreed, suggesting that members of Trump’s circle sometimes realize retrospectively that something is not allowed and “go back and try to figure out what it was and how they can keep it quiet.”
“You know what really bugs me about that?” Pelosi asked. “I say, how do you explain that to kids in the hood when they’re approached by law enforcement and they say, ‘Well, I didn’t realize that I was supposed to do this or that.’ They were supposed to know, but these very wealthy people with high-priced lawyers can get away with saying ‘I didn’t know it was wrong to do that.’”
Check out the interview below: