During his weekly press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy provided House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a history lesson and responded to her dubious claim that she doesn’t hold personal animus against President Donald Trump.
The conference — which occurred after Pelosi held her own weekly presser and used cherry-picked historical quotes to defend her decision to move full speed ahead with impeachment — began with a lesson in real American history.
Listen to it below:
“This morning I listened to Speaker Pelosi give us historical references,” McCarthy said. “The one that she skipped was Alexander Hamilton, when he wrote, ‘There will always be the greatest danger that the decision to use the impeachment power would be driven by partisan animosity instead of real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.'”
“Today is the day that Hamilton warned us. Today with the speaker’s announcement, she has weakened this nation. It was not new news. They always had this pre-written timeline from the day they got sworn in.”
The House minority leader then outlined example after example after example of Democrats, including House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler, literally campaigning on the president’s impeachment:
Jerry Nadler’s record:
– Campaigned for Judiciary chairman saying he’s best for impeachment
– Voted to impeach the President back in July
– Told CNN the evidence is “damning” before hearings began
This isn’t about the truth. He’s wanted to impeach @realDonaldTrump for months.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) December 4, 2019
“The sad part about this timeline [is] they have always had it written, [but] they just never had a case or proof, so they had to bring professors in,” McCarthy continued.
During the Judiciary Committee’s first hearing Wednesday, Democrats trotted out three rabidly partisan law professors — including a “bisexual” one — to make their case.
Meanwhile, the one expert brought forth by Republicans — nonpartisan George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley — articulated his belief that the Democrats’ evidence for impeachment is “woefully inadequate.”
“If Speaker Pelosi would have paused and actually listened to the hearing yesterday, she probably would not have made the decision that she made today,” McCarthy argued. “Had she listened to the Democrat constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, he said there was no bribery, no extortion, no obstruction of justice, no abuse of power. He said this would be the fastest, thinnest, weakest impeachment in U.S. history. This is from the individual who did not vote for the president. This is from an individual who is not a Republican.”
It’s not clear whether Pelosi — or anyone in the media, for that matter — paid any attention to Turley, given as he wasn’t willing to spout their preferred narrative.
McCarthy concluded his presser by again dropping a history lesson on the speaker.
“This is the day that Alexander Hamilton feared and warned would come,” he said. “This is the day the nation is weaker. Because they surely cannot put their animosity or their fear of losing an election in the future in front of all the other things that the American people want. They don’t even have a budget. We don’t even have a trade agreement that was signed more than a year ago to make this country stronger.”
“We’re not lowering drug prices. We are not rebuilding this nation. Why? Because the timeline that they started from the day they were sworn in, down to the very freshmen announcing what they would do on the night they were sworn in to the selection of the chairs who would oversee the impeachment has come true today. It’s not a day that history will be proud of. It’s not a day I hope America ever repeats. Take your questions.”
One of the first questions came from veteran journalist James Rosen. During Pelosi’s presser, he asked her whether there’s any merit to accusations from House Judiciary Chair ranking member Doug Collins that she and other Democrats hate the president.
In response, the speaker threw a fit and claimed her heart has nothing but love in it.
When asked by Rosen whether he believes this is true, McCarthy initially scoffed — almost in laughter.
“I’ll take them at their word what Congresswoman [Rashida] Tlaib said their very first day in Congress of what she referred to the president, which I wouldn’t think anyone would want it referred to them, that she was going to impeach them,” he said.
“Or when Adam Schiff lied to the American public, only to get to the point where they are today. Or when he said he was going to ‘send him [Trump] back to the golden throne.'”
Rosen then cut in to remind McCarthy that he’d asked about the speaker. The minority leader responded by saying that he’ll take Pelosi at her word, though he cautioned that he has a “hard time believing her.”
“I’ll take the speaker at her word, but if she paused for a moment, she looked at just the facts, she would not have made that determination,” he said.
“If she paused and actually listened to the hearing yesterday, and what a Democrat who did not vote for the president, who has studied the Constitution, who has been a witness for Democrats and Republicans based upon his own ability as a scholar, that this is the weakest and thinnest impeachment in the history of America. There is no bribery, no extortion, no obstruction of justice, and no abuse of power.”
“I think I have a hard time believing her,” McCarthy concluded.
Watch the full presser below:
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