Trump isn't worth impeaching, says Pelosi

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 13 Mar 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, America's most powerful Democrat, says that she does not support impeaching Donald Trump, arguing the Republican president is "just not worth it."

"I'm not for impeachment," Pelosi told the Washington Post in an interview, the strongest signal yet that the Democratic leadership is deeply hesitant about taking such an explosive step to remove a sitting president.

"Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country," she said. "And he's just not worth it."

Trump and his associates face multiple investigations, including one headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that is looking into Russian influence on the 2016 US election and potential collusion between Trump's team and Moscow. And in explosive congressional testimony last month, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen branded the president a conman and cheat and sought to implicate him in multiple crimes.

Pelosi stressed that she does not believe he is fit to lead the nation. "I mean, ethically unfit. Intellectually unfit. Curiosity-wise unfit."

Some rank-and-file House Democrats are keen to bring impeachment proceedings. Others remain concerned that for now, an effort to oust Trump before the election might backfire, energizing an angry Republican base and antagonizing voters Democrats would need in the next election. And with the Senate in Republican control, Trump's ouster would be far from assured.

Pelosi pointed to the excruciating process of president Bill Clinton's impeachment by the House in 1998, and his subsequent acquittal by the Senate.

"That was horrible for the country," she said.

Congressman Jerry Nadler said earlier this month that while it was clear that Trump has obstructed justice, "impeachment is a long way down the road."

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