SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says the President Trump's actions forced her hand and ultimately forced House Democrats to impeach him.
She told the crowd at an appearance on Sunday that she hopes mounting public and political pressure will somehow insure a fair trial in the Senate.
"When we talk about the impeachment, this is a sad occasion for our country. I wish we didn't have to do that. I wish the President's behavior didn't warrant it," Pelosi said.
With the start of the impeachment trial approaching on Tuesday, Pelosi told supporters she hopes senators will listen to the public's desire to hear from witnesses and receive documents that have so far been denied by the White House.
"Since we said it would be important to have witnesses to shed light on the truth, 70% of the American people have said they want to see witnesses," Pelosi said. .
The trial will begin with the unresolved issue of witnesses. It would take a simple majority--51 votes--to allow them, but that would mean at least four Republicans would have to break party ranks and vote with the Democrats.
When it comes to conviction, the math gets harder. Two-thirds--67 senators--would have to vote to convict and remove Trump from office.
"He's never going to be exonerated. What's going to happen is that the Senate is going to incriminate itself if they say we don't want to hear from witnesses and we're going to ignore the truth. We have to have in our government and in everything we do--transparency and accountability," Pelosi said. "As I have said to the President, you are impeached forever."
SPEAKER PELOSI TOLD THE AUDIENCE THAT EVEN IF THE POLITICAL CALCULUS DOESN'T LOOK PROMISING FOR A CONVICTION IN THE SENATE... DEMOCRATS IN THE HOUSE COULD ILL-AFFORD TO IGNORE THE PRESIDENT's CONDUCT... A SENTIMENT SHARED BY HER SUPPORTERS.
Pelosi told the audience Sunday that even if the political caucus doesn't look promising for a conviction in the Senate, Democrats in the House could not afford to ignore Trump's conduct. It was a sentiment shared by Pelosi's supporters.
"This is our democracy. They have a responsibility to uphold the democracy of this country. And if this President has done something wrong which clearly he has, then they have to speak out. They have no choice," said Sophie Maxwell, the San Francisco Democratic Party vice chair.
Pelosi also said that even if the President is acquitted in the Senate, the stain of impeachment will remain on his legacy forever.
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