House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday claimed that impeaching President Donald Trump would be a vastly different matter from the 1998 impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.
“Some of these same people are saying, ‘Oh, this doesn’t rise to impeachment.’ Right there, impeaching Bill Clinton for being stupid in terms of something like that,” she said Thursday during a CNN town hall on impeachment.
“I mean, I love him, I think he was a great president, but being stupid in terms of that, what would somebody do, not to embarrass their family, but in any event, so they did Bill Clinton, now they want me to do George Bush, I didn’t want it to be a way of life in our country.”
First elected to Congress in 1987, Pelosi was present for the Clinton impeachment and opposed Republican-led efforts against Clinton.
Earlier Thursday, Pelosi said the House would draft articles of impeachment against Trump, claiming that House Democrats who have been looking for misconduct on the part of the president have finally found it in Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Pelosi also used the town hall to frame impeachment as a constitutional crisis.
“This isn’t about politics at all. This is about patriotism. It’s not about partisanship. It’s about honoring our oath of office. This is the first president that has committed all of these things as the constitutional experts said yesterday, nobody has ever even come close, not Richard Nixon even came close to his dishonoring his own oath of office,” she said.
Pelosi tried to say the issue was black and white.
“The facts are clear. They were presented by the people who had access to the situation. The facts are clear. The Constitution is clear. The President violated the Constitution. And so I think it is important for us to proceed. If we were not to proceed, it would say to any president, any future president, whoever she or he may be, Democratic or Republican, that our democracy is gone, the President is king, he can do whatever he wants in violation of the law, ignoring the acts of Congress, undermining our system of checks and balances,” she said.
Others pushed back at Pelosi’s claims.
Speaker Pelosi this morning: “The president’s actions in taking these things to court… is an obstruction of justice.”
Jonathan Turley to Democrats, YESTERDAY: “If you impeach a President … out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s YOUR abuse of power.” pic.twitter.com/IMLhaN7Qub
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) December 5, 2019
The Founders began the Constitution with “We the People” for a reason.
Pelosi wants to negate the votes of 63M Americans, all while denying @realDonaldTrump due process.
It is the ultimate abuse of power, and all the more reason why Republicans must take back the House in 2020.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) December 5, 2019
Nancy Pelosi just had a nervous fit. She hates that we will soon have 182 great new judges and sooo much more. Stock Market and employment records. She says she “prays for the President.” I don’t believe her, not even close. Help the homeless in your district Nancy. USMCA?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2019
Ed Rollins, chairman of the conservative Great America PAC, put the Democrats’ effort to impeach Trump into perspective in an Op-Ed for Fox News.
“I have never seen such naked, self-serving partisanship. Since Inauguration Day, impeachment has been the left’s primary agenda,” he wrote.
“Such partisanship is not only antithetical to our democracy, but it also sets a dangerous precedent for future dealings between a sitting president and the opposition party. If the Democrats can pursue impeachment now — when there are virtually no grounds to so — are we to expect an impeachment inquiry every four years?”
Rollins said that the impeachment inquiry widens that gap that prevents the two parties from resolving issues.
“How can Republicans trust any Democrat, when the Democratic Party has been hell-bent on impeachment since 2016? Imagine if Republicans had launched a bogus impeachment inquiry against President Obama, solely on the grounds of him being a Democrat,” he wrote.