At a meeting of senior members to discuss the possible impeachment of the president, the speaker of the House of Representatives was again urged to launch a censure investigation.
But Ms Pelosi is said to have stood firm, telling colleagues: “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.”
According to Politico, Ms Pelosi remains insistent the best way to deal with Mr Trump is to defeat him at the 2020 election and then allow him to be prosecuted for any wrongdoings he may have done, once he loses the protection of presidential privilege.
The reported comments from Ms Pelosi represent the latest episode in an increasingly emotional behind-the-scenes battle within the party on whether or not to press ahead with Mr Trump’s impeachment.
House judiciary committee chairman Jerrold Nadler apparently urged Ms Pelosi to permit his committee to proceed with an impeachment inquiry, his second such report in recent weeks. Many in the party – especially the most recent intake of progressives Democrats – were elected on a vow to seek impeachment.
Ms Pelosi is fearful impeachment would distract both the party and voters from the 2020 election. She fears it could rally his supporters and is mindful of the 1998 impeachment of Bill Clinton, when Republican speaker Newt Gingrich was forced to resign after his party lost five House seats in that year’s midterms, amid an apparent public backlash.
Others say Ms Pelosi, now aged 79, is failing in her duty and misreading the mood of her party, if not the country at large.
On Wednesday, Ms Pelosi told told reporters she felt no pressure to move towards impeachment
“Make no Mistake. We know exactly what path we’re on….while that may take more time than some people want it to take, I respect their impatience,” she said.
Mr Nadler told CNN he could push ahead with impeachment at a later date but that there was currently insufficient support among the party leadership. He is also pushing for a full, unredacted copy of Robert Mueller’s Russia report.
“There does not appear to be support for it now. And we will see. The support may develop,” he said.
Ms Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to enquires about her reported comments.
However, a spokesperson, Ashley Etienne, told the New York Post the speaker and other party members “had a productive meeting about the state of play with the Mueller report”.
She added: “They agreed to keep all options on the table and continue to move forward with an aggressive hearing and legislative strategy, as early as next week, to address the president’s corruption and abuses of power uncovered in the report.”