House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took aim at House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler in a closed-door meeting last week, saying that the panel has taken the push for impeachment of President Trump far beyond the position of the House Democratic caucus.
Pelosi shocked those present at the meeting with her criticism of Nadler and added that the Democrats don’t have the necessary votes to impeach Trump.
“You can feel free to leak this,” Pelosi said to those present, according to Politico.
The revelations come on the heels of a contentious hearing in which former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was summoned to testify regarding allegations of obstruction of justice on the part of the president.
During the Tuesday hearing, Lewandowski was asked to shed light on whether Trump asked him to tell then–attorney general Jeff Sessions to curtail the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. The investigation itself ultimately concluded there had been no collusion, but prosecutors did not make a charging decision as to whether Trump’s alleged attempts to curtail the investigation constituted obstruction of justice.
Pelosi and Nadler have been at odds for some time over how to handle possible impeachment proceedings. The latter is extremely supportive of impeachment, and has turned up his rhetoric on the issue recently.
“Personally, I think the president ought to be impeached,” Nadler said on Monday in an interview with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer. Nadler is currently facing his most difficult primary challenge in years, a factor several Democrats said is contributing to his hard line on impeachment.
Pelosi seeks a more moderate stance due to what she sees as insufficient support within the Democratic party for a more radical course of action. She fears that a failed bid to impeach Trump will embolden him during an election year, as he may use the proceedings to claim his exoneration.