House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suggested to CBS News’ Margaret Brennan on Sunday that President Donald Trump needs to prove that he is innocent in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. This is contradictory to the U.S. criminal justice system, which is based on the presumption of innocence.
Pelosi, who made the remarks on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” made similar remarks last week while responding to a reporter’s question about the public believing that Democrats are “dead set” on impeaching Trump without looking at all the facts.
“It’s called an inquiry,” Pelosi said on Thursday. “And if the president has something that is exculpatory, Mr. President, that means you have anything that shows your innocence, then he should make that known and that’s part of the inquiry. And so far, we haven’t seen that, but we welcome it. And that’s what an inquiry’s about.”
Pelosi then repeated that sentiment on Sunday in response to Brennan asking her, “Do you think you’ll go through all of this and not vote to impeach the President?”
“That remains – the facts, if the President has information that demonstrates his innocence in all of this, which we haven’t seen,” Pelosi responded. “His transcript of a phone call is tucked away in a highly sensitive, compartmentalized intelligence server so we can’t see that. If he has information that is exculpatory, that means ex, taking away, culpa, blame, then we look forward to seeing it.”
WATCH: Nancy Pelosi shreds the Constitution.
She says @realDonaldTrump has to demonstrate his innocence.
That’s patently un-American.
In America, there is a presumption of innocence but Democrats don’t care. #StopTheMadness pic.twitter.com/CO5piZgU4W
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) November 17, 2019
Partial transcript from Pelosi’s interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation”:
MARGARET BRENNAN: When you tweeted today, you said Ambassador Yovanovitch was viciously smeared by Trump allies, removed from her post and then threatened by the President. What part of that amounts to an impeachable offense or a crime?
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Well, there are many things that the President does that are completely out of the question that are not impeachable. And they’re about the election. But when it comes to violating the Constitution of the United States, as he undermines our national security, jeopardizes the integrity of our elections, dishonors his own oath of office, that’s about impeachment.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So the Constitution defines an impeachable offense as treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors.
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What do you think applies to this case?
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: We are unfolding the facts. That’s what an inquiry is about.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You use the term bribery.
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Yeah, I was translating from the Latin. That – that was in the context of E Pluribus Unum. From many, one. And so I said from many, one. Quid pro quo, bribery. Now that’s what that is. Mm-Hm.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, but do you expect that to be one of the articles –
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: I have no idea. Well, there is not even a decision made to impeach the President.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: This is a finding of fact, unfolding of the truth, and then a decision will be made, and that is a decision that goes beyond me.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, you point out factually, right, that vote has not taken place to proceed necessarily with impeachment. But do you think you’ll go through all of this and not vote to impeach the President?
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: That remains – the facts, if the President has information that demonstrates his innocence in all of this, which we haven’t seen. His transcript of a phone call is tucked away in a highly sensitive, compartmentalized intelligence server so we can’t see that. If he has information that is exculpatory, that means ex, taking away, culpa, blame, then we look forward to seeing it.