Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House Speaker, is talking loudly about her unfavorable comparison of President Donald Trump and Republican Richard Nixon. She is saying that the disgraced president at least cared enough about the country to leave office before his impeachment.
The premier Democrat in Congress told reporters last week that Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate one of his potential opponents in the 2020 election “makes what Nixon did look almost small.”
In an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS, she alluded to Nixon’s resignation after the Watergate scandal involving a break-in at Democratic Party headquarters and the subsequent cover-up.
“I mean, what the president did was so much worse than even what Richard Nixon did, that at some point Richard Nixon cared about the country enough to recognize that this could not continue,” Pelosi said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Nixon resigned in 1974 after the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against him but before the full House voted on the issue, and he was not impeached.
The former president is the only U.S. president who has resigned from office.
Pelosi has resisted calls from her more liberal Democratic lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings, but said Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy compelled her to open the probe against the president.
Pelosi has not been in the room as the House Intelligence Committee held public hearings on Trump’s impeachment. But, her voice is loud and clear from the outside.
Trump and those who support him have attacked the impeachment probe as politically motivated. Trump says his call with Zelenskiy was “perfect” while Republican lawmakers criticize the impeachment process as unfair.
“Do you have any evidence at all that the president did anything criminal or illegal? And the answer is no,” Republican U.S. Representative Chris Stewart said on ABC’s “This Week.”
The president has “every opportunity to present his case,” Pelosi told CBS, including coming before the intelligence panel.
“If the president has information that demonstrates his innocence in all of this, which we haven’t seen,” she said. “If he has information that is exculpatory -that means ex, taking away, culpable, blame -then we look forward to seeing it.”