House Speaker Nancy Pelosi snapped at a CNN reporter on Wednesday after he asked her to clarify her stance on impeaching President Donald Trump in the wake of Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony earlier that day.
The Blaze reported that Pelosi (D-CA) cut off CNN’s Manu Raju as he tried to ask a question about whether Mueller’s testimony made Trump’s impeachment more likely.
“You have long said,” Raju began, “that there’s no point to an impeachment inquiry because Republicans control the Senate, it’s going to die in the Senate, is that no longer—”
“I have never long said that,” Pelosi interrupted. “I have never long said that.”
Pelosi’s impeachment rhetoric
“If we have a case for impeachment, that’s the place we will have to go,” Pelosi continued in response to Raju. “Why I would like to have a strong case is because…it’s based on the facts — the facts, and the law. That’s what matters. Not politics, not partisanship, just patriotism.”
Pelosi went on to say that she hopes if impeachment measures do pass the House, the Senate will fulfill its responsibility to “protect and defend the Constitution.” A Republican Senate would not preclude the House from impeachment if the circumstances were right, she said.
“The stronger our case is, the worse the Senate will look for just letting the president off the hook,” Pelosi concluded.
Raju later remarked on CNN that he thought Pelosi’s comments represented a change in policy for the House speaker, but Pelosi said she has been consistent with her previous position on the matter.
Asked Pelosi about her previous concerns that Senate Rs wouldn’t go along with convicting Trump if House impeaches, and she shot back: “I have never long said that … The stronger our case is, the worse the Senate will look for just letting the president off the hook.”
A shift? pic.twitter.com/6Udt6023QT
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 24, 2019
A crumbling case
Since Pelosi is standing by her earlier refusal to bring articles of impeachment against Trump, she must not think she has a strong enough case to convince the American people that the president deserves to be impeached. Even her own House Democrats currently only have about 90 votes of the more than 200 they need to impeach, according to Politico.
The American public’s opinion on impeachment has been majority-against since the Mueller report was released, and his weak testimony is unlikely to sway many toward supporting impeachment. Even most of the potential obstruction Mueller pointed to in his report doesn’t really amount to much more than Trump trying to protect himself from being unfairly attacked by Mueller and his team.
The last thing Nancy Pelosi wants is for people to feel sympathetic toward Trump and look at Democrats as “attacking” him without cause. That would not be good for her party’s chances to hold on to the House in 2020 — never mind taking over the White House.