Although the House has voted to formally outline the impeachment inquiry process, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) still isn’t exactly advertising herself as the strongest advocate of the effort — but she indicated Trump’s actions toward Ukraine “could not be ignored.”
During a Thursday night interview on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Pelosi said that she “prayed for the United States of America” in her first reaction to the now-infamous call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I prayed for the United States of America, really, because it’s very sad,” Pelosi said. “We don’t want to impeach a President, we don’t want the reality that a President has done something that is in violation of the Constitution, but it was more about— so much had happened before.”
Pelosi then addressed her past reluctance toward the idea of impeaching Trump, which garnered criticism from her more progressive-leaning Democratic colleagues.
“I had not been, shall we say, enthusiastic about the divisiveness that would occur from an impeachment, weighing the equities,” Pelosi said. “I had said then that he’s not worth impeaching because it’s only going to divide the country further than he has already divided it.”
But Pelosi said that her view on impeachment shifted when she realized that the memorandum of the Ukraine call “was something that you could not ignore.”
“In one conversation he undermined our national security by withholding military assistance to a country that had been voted on by the Congress of the United States to the benefit of the Russians,” Pelosi said. “At the same time he jeopardized the integrity of our elections, the heart of our democracy, and in doing so, in my view, he possibly violated his oath of office to protect, defend and preserve the Constitution of the United States.”
When Colbert pressed her on whether she has “any doubt,” citing how she specifically just said that Trump “possibly violated” his oath of office, Pelosi dodged the question by responding that “some people believe that this is one of the investigations where the smoking gun came out first, and that call was a smoking gun” and that public hearings are imminent.
“In all fairness, you give people the opportunity to prove their innocence, whatever the interpretation is, this or that,” Pelosi said. “And on the other hand, have corroboration of what happened. We have the inquiry and we will have the public hearings coming up soon.”
Watch Pelosi’s interview on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” below: