House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she would like to see President Trump "in prison" while trying to rebuff Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler's request to open an impeachment inquiry.
"I don't want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison," Pelosi said, according to Politico.
The comment was made during a meeting in which Nadler and fellow top Democrats once again urged Pelosi to consider opening an impeachment inquiry. Pelosi, however, maintained her longstanding preference for Trump's defeat at the ballot box in 2020 and his eventual incarceration.
Pelosi's spokeswoman Ashley Etienne told Politico that Nadler and the speaker "had a productive meeting about the state of play with the Mueller report." She added that "they agreed to keep all options on the table and continue to move forward with an aggressive hearing and legislative strategy, as early as next week, to address the president's corruption and abuses of power uncovered in the report."
Pelosi has deftly fended off impeachment calls from an increasingly large cohort of rank-and-file Democrats, as well as much of the party's 2020 presidential field, but has nevertheless turned increasingly bellicose in her response to the administration's stonewalling of congressional oversight. She emerged from a meeting last month, in which much of her caucus reportedly urged impeachment, to tell reporters that the president "is engaged in a cover up" designed to prevent a full accounting of his attempts to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
In response to the administration's refusal to comply with subpoenas for documents and witness testimony, Nadler and a number of his fellow chairmen have inched closer to publicly calling for an impeachment inquiry but have maintained their deference to Pelosi.
"We are investigating all of the things we would investigate, frankly, in an impeachment inquiry," Nadler said on CNN.
"When that decision has to be made, it will be made not by any one individual, it will be made probably by the caucus as a whole," Nadler added when asked if he and Pelosi were on the same page. "Certainly Nancy will have the largest single voice in it."