Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew criticism Wednesday for handing out commemorative pens — together with her title on them — after signing a decision to transmit two articles of impeachment in opposition to President Trump to the Senate for trial.
To critics, the tone of the occasion appeared celebratory — a far cry from December, when Pelosi wore black and insisted on the Home flooring it was a “solemn” day earlier than the Democrat-controlled physique voted to question the president on abuse of energy and obstruction of Congress allegations. Later, she even cut short two rounds of cheers from Democrats when the articles have been adopted.
“Nancy Pelosi’s souvenir pens served up on silver platters to sign the sham articles of impeachment,” White Home press secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted in response. “She was so somber as she gave them away to people like prizes.”
“You know what you hand out pens for? Accomplishments. Like, say, signing a historic trade deal with China,” Republican Nationwide Committee spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington added, referencing Trump — who on the identical day as Pelosi’s impeachment signing entered a landmark commerce settlement with Chinese language Vice Premier Liu He within the East Room of the White Home.
Trump maintains the Home impeachment effort — primarily based on accusations that he pressured Ukraine to launch an investigation into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, in trade for U.S. navy help — is a “hoax” and claims he’s a sufferer of a political “witch hunt” led by Pelosi. He’s the third president in U.S. historical past to be impeached.
“So it’s fitting that Democrats are handing out pens for their sole accomplishment: impeachment. Democrats have done NOTHING for the American people,” Harrington added.
Earlier than the signing Wednesday, aides set out two small trays containing greater than two dozen black pens emblazoned with Pelosi’s signature. She entered the room and sat at a desk with the paperwork and pens earlier than her. Home prosecutors and the committee chairmen who had labored on Trump’s impeachment have been standing round her. Pelosi picked up every pen, signed a bit, and handed each to a lawmaker. Generally, she was smiling.
“Embarrassing spectacle – Pelosi using sterling silver platters and handing out ceremonial pens to everyone in sight, made it ridiculously theatrical and so tacky and clownish. What goofballs,” Mark Simone, a conservative radio host, tweeted.
“Impeachment is so “Prayerful” that Pelosi was handing out pens in celebration. Pathetic,” Benny Johnson, chief inventive officer for Turning Level USA, added.
At a Dec. 5 information convention, Pelosi had shot again at a reporter who accused her of hating Trump, saying that she, as a girl raised in a Catholic dwelling, truly prays for the president.
“This is about the Constitution of the United States and the facts that lead to the president’s violation of his oath of office. And as a Catholic I resent your using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is full, a heart full of love, and always pray for the president. And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time. So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that,” Pelosi exclaimed.
In a letter despatched to Pelosi the day earlier than the Dec. 18 impeachment vote, Trump questioned whether or not she was honest about her religion and alleged she was waging a struggle on American democracy in her choice to launch the Home-led impeachment inquiry again in September.
“Even worse than offending the Founding Fathers, you are offending Americans of faith by continually saying “I pray for the President,” when this assertion will not be true, except it’s meant in a damaging sense,” Trump countered.
Pelosi’s signature Wednesday despatched the articles to the Senate for trial, which is anticipated to open Thursday.
After the Home vote, Pelosi withheld the articles for about 4 weeks from the Senate in an effort to strain Senate Republicans to commit to seeing further paperwork and testimony as a part of trial proceedings. That promise by no means got here, however Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., advised reporters Tuesday he was contemplating permitting either side – Democrats and Republicans – to name further witnesses.
The Related Press contributed to this report.