House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana on Sunday scolded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her decision not to give to the Senate the articles of impeachment passed by the Democrat-led House on Dec. 18.
The California Democrat has said the charges against President Donald Trump are being formally held until she can determine the fairness of a trial in the Republican-majority Senate.
“Well, it’s our duty to turn it over,” the GOP congressman said. “It’s not like some mechanism she can control.
“The House passed it; they shouldn’t have. I mean, you look at what the evidence was, and Speaker Pelosi wanted to talk about the evidence, every one of their witnesses testified under oath, saying, ‘There was no crime,’ saying, ‘There was no quid pro quo.'”
Scalise suggested she’s manipulating the process.
“Maybe she’s trying to carry out her own quid pro quo by acting as if she’s got some kind of role in the Senate trial. They had a weak case. I think she knows they had a weak case. There was no evidence and no crime committed. And yet they still wanted to impeach the president to appease their radical base,” he said.
He said Pelosi should not be trying to extend her power into the Senate.
“Well, it’s not her role to go over to the Senate,” Scalise said. “She could run for the Senate if she wants to be a senator.”
He said that the rules of the process must be followed.
“The House has a role; the Senate has a role,” Scalise said. “It’s time for the Senate to do their job.
“Look, for months she was saying how important it is, they’ve got to remove this president immediately, he’s a threat to their, you know, their whole way of life. And then, once they pass the impeachment, she doesn’t want the Senate to get the papers to start the trial. They can’t have it both ways. I think people see through the charade. It’s a political charade.”
Scalise said it was hypocritical for Pelosi to worry about fairness after the spectacle of the House impeachment.
“There was not a fair trial in the House, and I think that was very clear,” he said. “And you see what Pelosi did there, literally shutting down the ability for the minority to even have a day of hearings, which is required under House rules. They broke that rule. They broke a lot of rules to ram through this impeachment charade just because they have a political vendetta against the president.”
The congressman said Trump did nothing wrong.
“He didn’t commit a crime,” Scalise said. “Their star witnesses said, under oath, when asked, ‘Can you name an impeachable offense? Was there any bribery?’ Every one of them said, ‘No.’ And yet they still carried on.
“The Senate will conduct a fair trial, and you’ll see an acquittal.”
He said House Democrats need to reorder their priorities.
“How about they focus on lowering drug prices, securing our border, doing an infrastructure package that they could have done in a bipartisan way?” Scalise said. “They don’t want to do any of that because they’ve become the party of impeachment.
“They have this obsession, it seems like, with carrying out this political vendetta that they have against the president, instead of working with him to get things done. At least President Trump is working for families and creating jobs, getting an economy that’s booming and higher wages in people’s paychecks. That’s what we should all be focused on.”
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