During an interview on Friday with NPR, Nancy Pelosi stated that she has not changed her mind on the subject of impeachment, but she added that she is ready to change the law to restrain presidential power and make it clear that a sitting president can be indicted.
“I do think that we will have to pass some laws that will have clarity for future presidents. [A] president should be indicted, if he’s committed wrongdoing — any president. There is nothing anyplace that says the president should not be indicted,” Pelosi said. “That’s something cooked up by the president’s lawyers. That’s what that is. But so that people will feel ‘OK, well, if he — if he does something wrong, [he] should be able to be indicted.’ ”
Pelosi stated that it is the Justice Department protocol not to pursue any charges against an incumbent, which is the reason former special counsel Robert Mueller said he couldn’t charge Trump with a crime. That she says needs to be changed.
“The Founders could never suspect that a president would be so abusive of the Constitution of the United States, that the separation of powers would be irrelevant to him and that he would continue, any president would continue, to withhold facts from the Congress, which are part of the constitutional right of inquiry,” Pelosi said.
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution instructs that the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Pelosi shares that she fears impeachment will alienate voters ahead of the 2020 election and harm Democrats that played a crucial part in taking back the House in November.
Pelosi stated that she also believes that Congress should clarify the limits of when a president can invoke a national emergency.
“The president should not be able to interpret the National Security Act as something that gives him free rein to do anything he wants by his personal declaration that something is an emergency,” she stated.
When asked about the whistleblower complaint she called it “very alarming” and added, “this is in a different class in terms of [Trump’s] behavior.”
“This case has a national security piece to it that is very alarming. It is very alarming because the inspector general is appointed by President Trump.” She said the law is clear that the information must be submitted to the intelligence committees in Congress. “Right now, they are breaking the law” by not providing that information,” she said.
Pelosi later stated that “grave, urgent concerns for our national security” and that the president and his administration must conduct “our national security and foreign policy in the best interest of the American people, not the President’s personal interest.”
“If the President has done what has been alleged,” she said, “then he is stepping into a dangerous minefield with serious repercussions for his Administration and our democracy.”