Speaker Pelosi joined Jimmy Kimmel Thursday night to discuss the "path" to impeaching Donald Trump. While she avoided using the "i-word" itself, she said that the president is in "defiance" of the Constitution and his oath of office and that she will eventually have to convince Republicans in the Senate of his guilt.
JIMMY KIMMEL: Yesterday, Robert Mueller finally spoke and he said, "if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that." So he didn't say so, and he indicated that now it is Congress's job to take it from here. Are you taking it from there?
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Well we've been on that path for a while, and when we do get to where we're going, we're going to be ready.
JIMMY KIMMEL: But it feels like we've been on that path for a really, really long time. Like since the 70s.
NANCY PELOSI: Well, what you have to remember we've only had the majority --the majority, the majority, the Democratic majority-- you got that? Since this year, and the first month, government was shut down.
So we have -- I'm very proud of our chairmen. We had a big week last week, we won three court cases and one decision by the Justice Department to give us documents. We have to be ready. Our founders, I like to say this, in the darkest days of the revolution, they said 'the times have found us.' I think right now, the times have found us. We have a defiance of the Constitution of the United States and so when we go down this path, we have to be ready, and it has to be clear to the American people and we have to hope it will be clear to Republicans in the United States Senate.
JIMMY KIMMEL: So are you saying you want to make sure everybody is on board before you get into something like impeachment?
PELOSI: No, no, I'm not saying -- well. We're on a path to gain information. The public deserves to know the truth, the facts. When you go down a path like an impeachment, which is very divisive, it could divide the country. Let's just put it this way, we understand our oaths of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Apparently, he doesn't understand the oath of office. He doesn't honor the oath to "protect and defend." So we know our responsibility, but again, because it is divisive, we have to try to bring people together... E Pluribus Unum... So let me just say this, immodestly. I probably have a better idea as to what the president has to be held accountable for than anyone.
JIMMY KIMMEL: Have you read the Mueller report?
NANCY PELOSI: Yes I have.
JIMMY KIMMEL: Even the blacked out parts?
NANCY PELOSI: No
JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah, yeah right.
NANCY PELOSI: We're not allowed, we're calling for that. They would show it to me, but I said I'm not going to let you show it to me unless you show it to the whole country... The only person who knows better than I why this president is not above the law and must be held accountable is the president of the United States. He knows what his violations have been.
JIMMY KIMMEL: I don't think he knows. I think sometimes they do things and go, "oh that's not allowed?"
NANCY PELOSI: You know what really bugs me about that? When you see what they said, "Oh I didn't know," "I didn't know it was wrong to talk to Russians."
How do you explain that to kids in the hood? When they're approached by law enforcement and say, "I didn't realize I was supposed to do this or that." They're supposed to know, but these very wealthy people with high priced lawyers can get away with saying I didn't know it was wrong.
JIMMY KIMMEL: That's why we need you to get in there and to take care of this and do something to these guys. Here's what drives me crazy, because I believe honestly that, I know it may sound disingenuous, but I hope the president didn't do anything--
NANCY PELOSI: I agree with that.
JIMMY KIMMEL: I hope with the Mueller report it is what he says it is. We don't want that in the US, but we haven't had a chance to see the Mueller report. It seems like when you subpoena somebody, it used to be when you get a subpoena from Congress ou had to go speak... Can't you put those people in jail?
NANCY PELOSI: You can fine them... Why I think the president wants us to impeach him. He knows it's not a good idea to be impeached, but the silver lining for him is then, he believes, that he would be exonerated by the United States Senate.
And there is a school of thought that says, 'If the Senate acquits you, why bring charges against him in the private sector when he's no longer president?' So when we go through with our case, it's got to be ironclad. Ironclad.
JIMMY KIMMEL: So because the Senate leans Republican--
NANCY PELOSI: No, not leans. Completely in the pocket of Donald Trump Republican.
JIMMY KIMMEL: And you think those Republican senators, even if they know he committed a crime, will side with Donald Trump?
NANCY PELOSI: They have been every day. Not one of them has spoken up.