Republican House leaders said that the allegations against President Donald Trump laid out in two articles of impeachment aren’t supported by evidence.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), speaking at a press conference in Washington on Dec. 10, said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “bowed down to the most radical elements of her base,” who want to overturn the results of the 2016 election, “instead of standing up to them and saying that she was going to work for the American people.”
Scalise said House Democrats hoped then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s team would find something they could use to impeach Trump, but that they had to move on after Mueller’s report failed to establish any collusion between Trump or his campaign and Russia.
Scalise said the witnesses Democrats brought in were repeatedly unable to name any impeachable offenses.
“They were asked by our members point blank: can you name an impeachable offense? Not one. Can you name any kind of bribery? Not one. Yet they still go forward with impeachment, not because there’s evidence—which is what the Constitutional standard should be—but because they’re afraid that he’ll get reelected,” Scalise said.
“The American people should be the ones that decide who the president is, not Nancy Pelosi or Adam Schiff because they disagree with the results of the 2016 election.”
“Democrats still cannot get over the fact that the president won the election and they lost,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.
He said that Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, campaigned for the position by promising he’d lead impeachment efforts against Trump.
“They have a lot of members on their side very concerned,” McCarthy said. “[Impeachment] has been falling in the polls. If you need any more evidence on how unpopular the impeachment is,” look at how Pelosi held a press conference on the United States–Mexico–Canada trade deal just an hour after the impeachment press conference, McCarthy said, noting that Pelosi had delayed an agreement for months.
“The only reason she finally relented is because of the unpopularity of impeachment itself,” McCarthy said. “This is not a day that America will be proud about. It’s not a day that history will write that anybody wants to repeat.”
McCarthy also railed against House Democrats for not allowing Republicans to call a number of witnesses they wanted to answer questions under oath, including former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and the person who filed an anonymous complaint against Trump that Pelosi used as justification to start the impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi and other caucus leaders gathered earlier on Dec. 10 to announce the articles of impeachment against Trump, accusing him of abusing his office and obstructing Congress.
“On this solemn day, I recall that the first order of business for members of Congress is the solemn act to take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” Pelosi said, portraying the articles as a way for members to fulfill that oath.
Nadler said that Trump tried to “solicit foreign interference in the 2020 elections” by asking Ukraine to probe the possible past corruption of Biden, threatening America’s national security. He also said Trump’s unwillingness to cooperate with the inquiry amounted to obstruction of Congress.