Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) told Democratic leaders that she would like to see President Donald Trump “in prison,” not impeached. Pelosi recently clashed with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-New York) over the issue of impeachment during a private leadership meeting.

Pelosi met with Nadler and several other ranking Democrats who are investigating Trump to discuss once again the possibility of opening an impeachment inquiry into the president. Nadler, who has recently come out as a strong proponent of impeachment, pressed Pelosi to allow him to open a formal investigation into Trump. Pelosi, along with several other House leaders, refused. “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,” Pelosi said, according to several sources.

Pelosi has long been an opponent of impeachment, instead preferring that the Democrats defeat Trump at the polls in 2020. Once the New York tycoon is out of office he no longer has the privileges of a sitting president, making it much easier to convict him of the various crimes he is accused of. Pelosi has repeatedly stated that she believes that if the Democrats initiate impeachment proceedings then they will have to devote all of their time and effort towards removing the president, giving them no time to serve the constituents. If the Democrats were to focus all their attention on impeachment without actually managing to evict Trump from the Oval Office, then they would appear not to care for the voters, hurting their chances in the 2020 elections. The odds that they do impeach the president are incredibly slim, both because the process might not be done before 2020, and because the GOP-controlled Senate and Supreme Court would do everything in their power to aid Trump if a trial did take place.

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In recent weeks, more and more Democratic representatives have been clamoring for impeachment, with the statement by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III only adding fuel to the fire. Pelosi has done her best to force rank-and-file Democrats to stick with party leadership, hoping to maintain an image of unity and help the Democrats achieve a victory in 2020.

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