WASHINGTON, D.C. — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is not convinced the time is right to begin impeachment hearings, despite an unprecedented statement made by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller on the findings of his investigation.
Yesterday, Mr. Mueller appeared before the nation and made several statements about the two-year long probe he lead into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Mueller’s statement largely contradicted the narrative about the report that Attorney General William Barr created — namely that it exonerates the president. Mueller once again reiterated what even Barr’s review of the report stated — that Mueller and his team could not definitively clear Trump of obstruction of justice charges, and the only reason they didn’t pursue them is Department of Justice guidelines that say a sitting president cannot be indicted.
“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mr. Mueller said, reading from prepared notes behind a lectern at the Justice Department at a hastily called public appearance. (The Failing New York Times)
After Mueller’s statement seemed to indicate that he had more than sufficient evidence to pursue a prosecution of literally anybody else in the country, Democratic presidential hopefuls started chiming in with their insistence that Pelosi give the green light to start impeachment hearings. The hearings themselves would not have to necessarily lead to articles of impeachment being drafted. They are the first constitutionally prescribed step in the formal impeachment process. Between former Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s testimony and the Mueller report, support for impeachment among Democrats, and even among some Republicans like Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan. Pelosi, however, remained steadfast in her position that impeachment is a bridge too far.
“At the end of the day, I’m the only one in the entire country who knows the right thing to do about President Trump,” Pelosi explained to reporters this morning. “The sooner you all get onboard with that, the better. I understand we live in a representative democracy, which to me means I represent the one person who will be making all the decisions about when to actually use the power you lot gave me last year.”
Pelosi says it’s “obvious to anyone who’s paying attention” she’s “literally the only person capable of knowing when it’s time to hold Trump accountable.”
“Did you not see me sarcastically clapping during the State of the Union? Case closed,” Pelosi said.
In his statement, Mueller made it abundantly clear that an average citizen would probably be charged with several crimes, but that since Trump is a sitting president, the only legal mechanism to “formally accuse” him of “wrongdoing” is to impeach him.
Mueller suggested as much Wednesday in public remarks, when he confirmed that his investigation operated within a Justice Department policy barring the indictment of a sitting president. The DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel opinion “says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” he noted in remarks that emphasized his investigation had not exonerated Trump. (Politico)
“One thing I’m not going to do is listen to a bunch of unelected voters telling me what to do,” Pelosi said determinedly. “That just seems ludicrous, to listen to your constituents. Just because the Constitution says we can, and that we should, really that we must impeach the president…does that really mean we have to?”
Speaker Pelosi said that acting now would “run counter to so many long standing traditions of the Democratic Party.”
“Why take action when we can act indignant instead? Why do anything when doing nothing but saying tough words right before we do nothing is also an option on the table,” Pelosi asked rhetorically. “I’m sorry, but showing courage in the face of political headwinds is not a Democrat thing. Doing so would run counter to so many long standing traditions of the Democratic Party.”
Pelosi did not completely rule out impeachment. She reiterated that she simply doesn’t think the timing is right.
“Look, we’ll do it when I wanna do it. Because again, I’m the only who knows what to do,” Pelosi said. “It’s a gift, I have, really. I can’t explain it more than that. I’m just the one who knows more. Because you know, I play fun political theatrics with Trump and get him to look like a moron on national TV, even though that is literally the easiest thing you could possibly do and he does it all by himself in nearly every Rose Garden or White House lawn press gaggle he does. Anyway, the point is, all the memes of me putting on my sunglasses and walking out of the White House like a boss? They’re the source of my wisdom and omniscience.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.