House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a lot to say at a press conference last week. Unfortunately for her, the message wasn’t entirely coherent.
On Thursday, Pelosi appeared before reporters to discuss ongoing impeachment efforts. After some remarks about Veterans Day and recent legislation, she torn into President Trump. Still, she declared that “none of us has come here to impeach a president.”
Yet that claim isn’t consistent with what some members of Pelosi’s caucus have said.
Impeachment seems like forgone conclusion
On the night that she was elected, Rep. Rashida Tlaib declared her intent to “impeach the motherf—–” and now sells merchandise bearing that slogan.
Perhaps in an effort to appease such individuals, the senior Democrat stressed her belief in Trump’s culpability, despite the fact that hearings were still ongoing. Pelosi insisted that “devastating testimony” from witnesses that had been called thus far “corroborated evidence of bribery.”
She went on to assert how it’s clear “the president abused power and violated his oath by threatening to withhold military aid and a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into his political rival.” Pelosi then made a point of adding that bribery “is in the Constitution attached to the impeachment proceedings.”
When a reporter asked her what the alleged bribe consisted of, she responded by offering a quid pro quo explanation.
“The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into elections. That’s bribery.”
“We haven’t made a decision”
At this juncture, Pelosi may have realized that she was making the proceedings sound less like a fact-finding endeavor and more like window dressing for a forgone conclusion. As a result, she appeared to backtrack.
“We haven’t made a decision to impeach,” she claimed. “That’s what the inquiry is about.” However, the California Democrat then turned around and insisted again that Trump was guilty.
“What I am saying, that what is — the president has admitted to and says it’s perfect. I said it’s perfectly wrong. It’s bribery,” she said, going on to assert that his wrongdoing “makes what Nixon did look almost small, almost small.”
Why Speaker Pelosi would believe that these two conflicting narratives could be reconciled remains unclear.