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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hinted that majority Democrats could vote to impeach President Donald Trump a second time if he nominates someone to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, noting they “have arrows in our quiver.”
In an interview with ABC News host and former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, the California lawmaker was asked about impeachment as a means of stopping the nomination.
“Some have mentioned the possibility if they try to push through a nominee in a lame-duck session, that you and the House could move to impeach President Trump or Attorney General Barr as a way of stalling and preventing the Senate from acting on this nomination,” said Stephanopoulos, without citing any sources in particular.
“Well, we have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now,” she responded.
Pressing, Stephanopoulos asked, “But to be clear, you’re not taking any arrows out of your quiver, you’re not ruling anything out?”
“We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now,” Speaker Pelosi tells @GStephanopoulos when pressed on what Democrats would do if Pres. Trump and Republicans push a SCOTUS nomination ahead of the Nov. 3 election. https://t.co/JhU93KY3iQ pic.twitter.com/HOmI8AxREN
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 20, 2020
Pelosi paused, then gave a bizarre answer.
“Good morning. Sunday morning. The, uh, we have a responsibility, we take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” she said, stammering.
“We have a responsibility to meet the needs of the American people, uh, that, uh, is, uh, when the, we weigh the equities of protecting our democracy requires us to use every arrow in our quiver,” she added.
Democrats immediately ramped up attacks — and threats — against the president and Senate Republicans following reports that Ginsburg, 87, passed away Friday after a prolonged battle against metastatic pancreatic cancer.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 19, 2020
In addition to threatening violence, Democrats also pledged to pack the U.S. Supreme Court with left-wing ideologues by expanding the number of justices, which critics have said proves that Democrats see the high court not as an arbiter of whether laws are constitutional but instead as a political tool necessary to advance their agenda.
It’s unclear whether Pelosi is actually considering a second impeachment of the president, especially since the Senate — two-thirds of which would have to convict him to see him removed from office — is still in GOP control. Even if Dems regain control of the Senate in November, it’s difficult to imagine they could achieve two-thirds support to impeach.
One impeachment expert, Tulane Law School Professor Ross Garber, noted Sunday the GOP-controlled Senate wouldn’t have to spend much time considering it.
“Impeachment wouldn’t slow the Senate down. There’s no requirement that an impeachment trial precludes all other Senate business or that a trial occupy much Senate time at all (Remember, Trump impeachment trial had no witnesses.),” he tweeted.
Nevertheless, Pelosi is not the only Democratic leader issuing veiled threats.
During a conference call with Senate colleagues Saturday, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is reported to have said, “Let me be clear: if Leader [Mitch] McConnell [R-Ky.] and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year. Nothing is off the table.”
On a call with Dem Senators, Schumer indicated he's get rid of the filibuster and pack the court. (If Dems win the maj.)
"Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year. Nothing is off the table.”
— Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC) September 19, 2020
Schumer further indicated that if his party wins control of the chamber and names him majority leader, he would get rid of the filibuster (a rule requiring 60 votes to pass most legislation) and pack the high court with liberal justices, according to NBC News congressional correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell.
Shortly thereafter, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), issued a similar threat on Twitter.
“If Republicans recklessly & reprehensibly force a SCOTUS vote before the election—nothing is off the table,” he wrote.
If Republicans recklessly & reprehensibly force a SCOTUS vote before the election—nothing is off the table.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) September 19, 2020
President Trump indicated Saturday that he would be sending a nominee to the Senate for consideration, reported to be one of two women currently serving as judges on federal appeals courts.
‘It will be a woman’: About Trump’s top two contenders for SCOTUS, Barrett and Lagoa https://t.co/SUyAVqzEx6
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 20, 2020
McConnell put out a statement Saturday as well saying he would allow a nominee to be voted on, though some GOP senators including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine have said they won’t support any nominee until after the election.
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