Trump will 'be impeached forever': Pelosi

In an exclusive interview, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joins George Stephanopoulos on "This Week."
17:35 | 01/12/20

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Transcript for Trump will 'be impeached forever': Pelosi
Let's get to our exclusive head liner, the speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi. Welcome. Good morning. I want to begin with impeachment. You told your colleagues on Friday to be prepared to send the impeachment articles to senate this week. Will it be this week? Have you settled on house managers? What I did say I'll be consulting with my members this week on Tuesday morning at our regular caucus meeting that we would vote to send them over and we'll determine in our meeting when we send them over. But we -- I've always said I would send them over. There shouldn't be any mystery to that. What we did want, though, is we wanted the public to see the need for witnesses, witnesses with firsthand knowledge of what happened. Documentation, which the president has prevented from coming out to the congress as we reviewed this. As you know, leader Mcconnell didn't budge on witnesses. He's not promising -- I think he'll be a accountable to the American people for that. Over 70% of the American people think that the president should have those witnesses testify. So, again, it is -- it's about a fair trial. They take an oath to have a fair trial and we think that would be with witnesses and documentation. So that dynamic has -- now the ball is in their court. Either do that or pay the price for not doing. Mcconnell said he's going to follow the Clinton model. A couple weeks of presentations by each side. It was 100-0 for that procedure back then. It isn't the same thing. At least six reasons. I could take the whole program going on how it's different. What's the biggest one? The biggest one is that, the witnesses were all depose. The witnesses haven't allowed them to be depose for the house. The evidence was there. It was bringing it to a forefront. That's a very major difference. You can depose a witness or can't. The fact is, one of the things that I think is really important, and I think people should be very aware of, very unusual the leader of the senate Mitch Mcconnell has signed on to a resolution to dismiss the case. To dismiss the case. In his view may be -- He's committed to having the presentations first now -- I'm telling you, he signed on Thursday to a resolution to dismiss the case. The dismissing is a cover-up. Dismissing is a cover-up. If they want to go that route, again the senators who are thinking now about voting for witnesses or not, they will have to be accountable for not having a fair trial. You made the point that the president has blocked the witnesses, and that's true, but some of your critics the house could have done a lot more to go through the entire process in courts to see if they would rule on witnesses. One of those critics is a very important figure in the senate, senator Susan Collins. The house chose not to go to court to enforce its subpoenas, so there are gaps in what the house has sent us. I don't understand the house's decision on that. That's not even true. We are in court on the witnesses. It could take a very long time. Pulled back the subpoena on John Bolton -- But on the other witnesses we have been in court and we haven't eliminated the possibility of ever having subpoena and going forward with Bolton. But he has said in this two weeks' period, another piece of progress that we made that he would -- he would respond to a subpoena from the United States senate. But the fact is is that the president of the United States, again, quite different from president Clinton. President Clinton allowed witnesses to come forward. President trump has prevented that from happening. Why not wait for the courts to rule? Because, how long do the courts take? We had -- we have confidence in our case that it's impeachable and this president is impeached for life. Rartdless of any gamemanship on the part of Mcconnell. However, that could stay come to we're confident in the impeachment and we think there's enough testimony to remove him from office. However, we want the American people to see the truth and why are they afraid of the truth? So if the senate does not subpoena John Bolton and other witnesses will the house move to subpoena -- It's not excluded. It's not excluded. We'll see what they do. But we do think that there's enough evidence to remove the president from office. But we've done our job. We have defended the constitution of the united States. We would hope that the senate would do that as well. This is about -- in your introduction you talked about the war powers act and it's a constitutional challenge. We're proud of the courage of our members to vote to impeach the president. There's nothing that the senate can do that can ever erase it. Any second thoughts for holding on to three weeks? No. We feel that it achieved a positive result in terms of additional e-mails and unredacted information that has come forward that Bolton has said that he would testify if subpoenaed by the senate. Other information has come forward. And more importantly, raising the profile of the fact that we need to have witnesses and documentation and if we don't that is a cover-up. You know, just before we came on the air president trump literally 30 seconds before, president trump sent out a tweet to me asking me to ask you a question. I'm not going to read the whole thing. He calls you crazy Nancy again. Wants you to justify Adam Schiff's comments during the house hearings. He said, your hearings were unfair and biased. This built on what he did on Friday night. I want to show him on Friday night on Fox News. She's obsessed with impeachment. She's done nothing. She's going down as one of the worst speakers in the history of our country. Let me just say, it's Sunday morning. I'd like to talk about some more pleasant subjects than the erratic nature of the president of the United States. But he has to know that every knock from him is a boost. He's the president who said I should have impeached George Bush because of the war in Iraq. And now he's saying I'm obsessed. I held off on this, frankly, I said Donald Trump is not worth impeachment. You did say that. He's not worth it. When he crossed that line on Ukraine he violated the constitution in such a way that could not be ignored. So, again, I don't like to spend too much time on his crazy tweets. Because everything he says is a projection. When he calls someone crazy he knows that he is. Everything he says you can just translate it back to who he is. Again, it's Sunday morning. Let's be optimistic about the future, a future that won't have Donald Trump in the white house one way or another, ten months we'll have an election if we don't have him removed sooner. But, again, he'll be impeached forever. I want to talk about Iran. It's not unpleasant to talk about the constitution of the United States. This is what we take an oath to protect and defend. This is what this president has violated again and again. This is the president who said article 2 says I can do whatever I want. It does not. This is a constitution that Benjamin Franklin said this is a republic if we can keep it, not a monarchy. This is -- this is defiance of the valor of our founders and what they established -- loyal to his oath of office. And so as I say, every knock from him is a boost. Everything he says about somebody else is a projection. You said he's violating the constitution again and again. Do you think it's possible that the house may have to file new articles of impeachment? Let's see what the senate does. The ball will be in their court soon. As I say, we think that the American people have been very fair about saying, yes, we do want to see witnesses. That wasn't part of the discussion three weeks ago. Let's move on to Iran right now. Several of your colleagues have taken issues with the administration's justification for taking out general soleimani. President trump said that soleimani was planning attacks on four U.S. Embassies. I know you can't talk speckly about the intelligence you received. Do you think the administration has been straight with the American people about the reasons for taking out general soleimani? I don't think the administration has been straight with the congress of the united States. When I was informed with the confirmation that the united States had taken out soleimani, who's a terrible person, let's not be confused, and the motivations of Iran are bad. So there's no question about that. Again, with my intelligence background I'm fully aware of the danger of soleimani. However, what we want to do is not escalate a war. When they called and told me the secretary of defense and the chairman of joint chiefs confirmed that we were involved in this action, I said, well, you should have informed the gang of 8 in advance of this. If leadership and the chairs of the intelligence committee and ranking members of house and senate. "We had to keep it close." You had to keep it close. "We had to keep it close because we didn't want it to get out." What you're saying is you don't trust the congress of the united States with sources, methods and timing. "We had to keep it close." That's wrong. That's wrong. If you have seen, even Republicans have complained about the nature of their presentation of the classified briefing. They have to understand congress has the power to declare war. This is a war powers act. We passed legislation further defining that this week. This is an important discussion. Forget Donald -- I don't want to say forget Donald Trump -- this is all about presidents and congresses and -- The support of the American people -- There's no appetite in the public for war. The public's being told consistent with what you're being told privately? I'm not absolutely sure what the public is being told because it changes every time you see something. But this is nothing -- I want to say this, because it's Sunday morning. I just took a group, a bipartisan group in December to the 75th anniversary of the battle of the bulge. A very bloody battle. Thousands and thousands of Americans killed in that war. It was a decisive war in world War II. And it was remarkable. An allied effort to defeat the Germans there. This glorious ceremony over a few days. But the closing ceremony, the king of Belgium, the president of Germany, saying when you freed Belgium and Luxembourg you freed Germans too. Why I bring it up now, in relationship to this, at the end one of our veterans and we there to see our veterans. One of the veterans spoke for the group, 90-some years old. Beautiful, lo. Spoke beautifully about the sacrifice and the struggle, spoke about the band of brothers. The allies. The effort, the challenges. At the end he said I don't know if this is appropriate to say but I'm going to say it anyway, I urge all of you to pray for peace. For our veterans, for our men and women in uniform. For our children. For our future. We have to move toward peace not escalation of war. The question is how we get there. We're seeing now demonstrations in the streets in Iran against the regime. Do you support those protesters? Would it be a good thing if they brought the regime down? The regime -- the protesters are protesting as I understand it, this brand of protesters about the fact that plane went down. And many students were on that plane. And these are largely students. In the streets. I think the Iranians shouldn't have had commercial flights. But the fact is this, there were protesters in the streets before against the regime. After the taking out of soleimani, there were protesters in the street joined together as you know against us. That wasn't good. Taking down this plane is a terrible, terrible tragedy. And they should be held accountable for letting commercial flights go at a time that was so, so dangerous. But there are different reasons why people are in the street, of course, we'd love to see the aspirations of the people of Iran realized for the better situation there. But escalating the situation -- unless we've exhausted every other remedy -- Which we haven't? Well, we don't know that. We don't know that. And if the first action to be taken on the threat of -- there are a lot of bad actors who are doing bad things and threatening bad things to us. We know that. Iran being one of them. And it being a -- its proxies doing bad things to our interests throughout the world. But how do we deal with that in a way that calms rather escalates? I want to ask you a question about the 2020 election and foreign policy. Bloomberg is reporting this Friday the possibility that there's an investigation now on whether or not the Russians are trying to help president trump and hurt Joe Biden. U.S. Probes if Russia is targeting Biden in 2020 election meddling. The probe comes as senior U.S. Officials are warning Russia's election interference in 2020 could be more brazen than in 2016 or 2018 midterm election. How worried are you about Russian interference. The president of the united States is in complete denial about Russia's role, as I have said in this terms of the president, all roads lead to Putin. He said -- he's not going to accept the assessment of our own intelligence agencies that they were very much involved in 2016 election. That 24/7 they're still engaged. He's still trying to blame on Ukraine and this silliness that has been debunked again and again. But he and his folks still keep advancing it. Everything that he's done whether it's in Syria, vis a vis the Turks, whether it's in Ukraine in terms of withholding assistance as they try to fight the Russians, his denial about their role in our election then and now, all roads lead to Putin. Sometimes I wonder about Mitch Mcconnell, too, why is he an accomplice to all of that? He's resisted resources going in a manner commencement with the threat for state -- agencies whichever they are, to protect our infrastructure, our critical infrastructure of elections. He says you shouldn't even call that critical infrastructure. It's all of a piece with them. That's why it's really important for the facts to come forward, the witnesses to be heard, the documentation to be reviewed, so that the American people can see -- so that no other president in the future could ever think that it's okay to engage in a way that this president has, to undermine the constitution. Undermine our national security and doing so, as well as jeopardizing the integrity of our elections. Thank you. My pleasure. Thank you. Lots more coming up.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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