FLASHBACK: Pelosi Says Impeachment Is 'Divisive,' 'Has to Be Bipartisan'
As recently as March of this year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said impeachment must be "compelling and overwhelmingly bipartisan." She said removing President Donald Trump is "just not worth it." She had also insisted that impeachment must be bipartisan back in May 2018. Yet on Thursday — Halloween, no less — Pelosi led the House of Representatives in an extremely partisan vote to formally approve the impeachment inquiry she prematurely announced last month.
The resolution passed 232-196, without a single Republican vote. In fact, two Democrats representing districts that voted for Trump in 2016 voted with Republicans against it. The only non-Democrat to vote for it was Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), a former Republican.
Both the votes to formalize an impeachment inquiry against former presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were bipartisan. In 1974, Republicans joined the effort to impeach the Republican Nixon, with the House voting 410-4. In 1998, 31 House Democrats voted for an impeachment inquiry against Democrat Clinton, for a full vote of 258-176.
America Rising put together a video highlighting Pelosi's insistence that impeachment must be bipartisan.
"Impeachment is a very serious matter. If it happens it has to be a bipartisan initiative," Pelosi declares in May 2018 remarks.
Then the video cuts to a news segment discussing Pelosi's March 2019 interview with The Washington Post.
"I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before," she said. "But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it."
Then the video cuts back to May 2018: "Unless you have bipartisan consensus, impeachment is a divisive issue in the country."
Pelosi was right. Impeachment is divisive. In fact, polls show that most voters in swing states oppose impeaching and removing Trump — and in some states, most also oppose the inquiry.
Trump was unpopular when he got elected, and the Trump Derangement Syndrome of the media, education, and entertainment establishments have further turned Americans against him. Many polls have suggested nearly half of Americans support impeaching and removing Trump over the July 25 Ukraine call, a comparatively minor scandal. It appears much of the left would want Trump impeached over anything — this is merely the latest outrage.
Pelosi's highly partisan vote followed a RealClearInvestigations report seeking to identify the "whistleblower" in the CIA who had connections with the Joe Biden campaign and who spoke with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) before filing his report. Even after Trump released the transcript of the July 25 call, Democrats touted the whistleblower. In fact, a former CIA boss said of the whistleblower's efforts leading to the inquiry, "Thank God for the deep state!"
America's intelligence agencies should not become a tool to unseat a duly-elected president, and it is terrifying to hear a former CIA head celebrate this.
Pelosi was right in May 2018 and this past March. Sadly, her new impeachment push has enflamed America's divisions. If only someone would have warned her...
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.