Republicans slam Pelosi over impeachment reversal after floor vote: ‘What has changed?’

Republicans slam Pelosi over impeachment reversal after floor vote: ‘What has changed?’

Republican congressional leaders tore into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday after Democrats pushed through formal rules for the impeachment inquiry on the House floor, pointedly asking what changed since she declared in March that she’s opposed to the process absent a presidential offense of “overwhelming and bipartisan” concern.

“We believe in the rule of law. But unfortunately, in Nancy’s House, we do not,” House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said at a press conference after the vote on Thursday.


McCarthy referenced a March interview with The Washington Post Magazine in which Pelosi declared her opposition to impeachment, saying it’s “so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”

McCarthy asked: “What has changed since March?”

Much, in fact, has happened since then. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe ended without finding evidence of criminal collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. But the spotlight then shifted to Ukraine, after a whistleblower alleged that Trump improperly pressured the country to launch politically related investigations — thus prompting Pelosi to announce the impeachment inquiry.

The House voted largely along party lines on Thursday to approve guidelines for that process going forward, a month after launching it. But Republicans allege those leading the charge have been looking to impeach all along. And they drew close attention to Pelosi’s March warning — especially considering Pelosi even cast a rare vote on the resolution itself, voting for it.

“This is not any cause for any glee or comfort. This is something that is very solemn … we had to gather so much information to take us to this next step,” Pelosi said on the floor Thursday, explaining her current stance. “Nobody … comes to Congress to impeach the president of the United States, unless his actions are jeopardizing our honoring our oath of office.”

She voiced hope that Congress would pursue this course “in a way that brings people together that is healing rather than dividing.”


But Republicans argued that while she said in March any impeachment push should be bipartisan, the only bipartisan vote Thursday was to oppose the resolution, as two Democrats broke ranks in opposition. No Republicans supported it.

“In all the hearings, there’s nothing compelling, nothing overwhelming, so the speaker should follow her own words and that bipartisan vote on that floor and end the sham that has been putting the country through this nightmare,” McCarthy said.

The tone at dueling press conferences after the vote signaled that political unity is not likely on the horizon, despite Pelosi's floor comments.

Other top Republicans also went after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is essentially leading the probe right now.

“For one man to turn this country upside down, to have this vote today, our Founding Fathers warned about this in the Federalist Papers,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said. “That a future Congress would base impeachment, at some point in time, would base it on partisan politics.”

“Sadly, today in this chamber, their worst fears have been realized,” McCaul said.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., another top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said: “Schiff is the prosecutor, the judge, the jury, the chief strategist for lying and leaking.”

And House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., posed a challenge.

“Here’s my challenge to Mr. Schiff. You wanna be Ken Starr? Be Ken Starr,” Collins said, referring to the special prosecutor who led the investigation into Bill Clinton. “Come to the Judiciary Committee. Be the first witness and take every question asked of you. Starting with your own involvement of the whistleblower.”

Republicans have blasted Schiff in recent weeks over his office's prior contact with the whistleblower who filed a complaint to the agency’s inspector general about President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Schiff’s office, earlier this month, said that the whistleblower had reached out to them before filing that complaint in mid-August, giving Democrats advance warning of the accusations that would lead them to launch an impeachment inquiry days later.

“Folks, this ain't over,” Collins said. “Get ready. The cloud that is dropping will be dropping on their heads, because process matters and substance will always win out in the end, and this president has nothing to worry about.”

But on the other side of the House, Schiff and other top congressional Democrats touted the passage of the resolution and defended their handling of the probe.

“This is a solemn day in the history of our country, when the president’s misconduct has compelled us to continue to move forward with an impeachment inquiry,” Schiff said. “The founding fathers understood that a leader might take hold of the Oval Office, who would sacrifice the national security, who would fail to defend the Constitution, would place his personal and political interests above the interests of the country.”

He added: “They provided us with a mechanism to deal with it and that mechanism is called impeachment.”

Schiff went on to detail what the coming weeks would look like — including public hearings and staff counsel questioning witnesses for “lengthy periods of time,” giving both the majority and the minority 45 minutes each.

The resolution passed Thursday further directs the Intelligence Committee, in consultation with the other committees, to prepare a report on its findings to the Judiciary Committee, which would write any articles of impeachment. In response to GOP complaints about Democrats' selective leaks of opening statements and depositions, the document also authorizes the public release of testimony transcripts, with only sensitive or classified information being redacted. The resolution also allows Republican members to submit written demands for testimony and other evidence, to cross-examine witnesses, and raise objections.

Pelosi announced the Trump impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24, saying at the time that “the president must be held accountable” for his “betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and the betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”

The inquiry was opened after a whistleblower complaint alleged that Trump, during a July phone call, pushed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter as military aid to the country was being withheld.

A transcript released by the White House shows Trump making that request, but he and his allies deny that military aid was clearly linked to the request or that there was any quid pro quo. Some witnesses coming before House committees as part of the impeachment proceedings have challenged that assertion.

The White House, though, has maintained the president did nothing wrong.

“Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ unhinged obsession with this illegitimate impeachment proceeding does not hurt President Trump; it hurts the American people,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. “Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats have done nothing more than enshrine unacceptable violations of due process into House rules.”

She added: “The Democrats want to render a verdict without giving the Administration a chance to mount a defense. That is unfair, unconstitutional, and fundamentally un-American.”

Fox News' Chad Pergram, Tyler Olson, and John Roberts contributed to this report. 

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  1. I just pray that good Republicans win big next November and we take back the House. We need so many of the socialists gone!!!! It’s quite pathetic and obvious that Democrats couldn’t care less about the American people and getting good Bill’s passed. For three years all they’ve done is subvert the Constitution and work on impeaching our duly elected President. Let’s take back OUR country!!!!

  2. Our duly elected President has committed no crimes worthy of impeachment, unlike his predecessor, that stinking Muslim Barack Obama who committed treason by gave billions of our tax dollars for comfort and aid to our mortal enemies Iran, he also broke the law by bringing Muslim beliefs into this countries government and trying to get Sharia Law enacted in the US. They too are our mortal enemies. If anyone should have been impeached it should have been Obama not President Trump. The only reason the Democrats want to impeach our President is because they disagree with his policies that are helping make America great again since they want our people to bow to Islamic rule, live under the government as socialist and bring more and more of our mortal enemies into this country so they can destroy us.

  3. Pelosi/Schiff do not care about the American citizen or the country. They are delighting America’s enemies. What they do care about is power and wealth. Because a non political man was elected to be president by this country it threatens their power and the power to gain wealth no matter who it hurts. She and a Schiff should be impeached for treasonous acts against this beautiful America.

  4. You can expect nothing less from these demented and deranged dimwit Democrats. Putrid Pelosi and Shifferbrains are the perfect pair of worthless Californians to lead the rest of the demented leftist Nutjobs. If the rest of the country can’t see what democrat Administrations can do to a once (no more) great state, then they will when they do it to the rest of the country. Just look at what the Democrats haven’t accomplished for the citizens of this country. Only illegal immigrants, alphabet soup groups and other elitist leftwing Nitwits will benefit from their demented agenda. The only thing the rest of us get is to pay for it. They have ripped us off far too long!!

  5. I fear there is something behind this there is something pushing this that has nothing to do with party. These people seem controlled by some other factor we cannot see. This scares me.

  6. This seems bigger than party concerns. They are in lockstep and have been since the beginning. Despite all he has done. Nothing phases their resistance. It’s like he interrupted their take over of all of us. The news is against everything even things that seem good even. This scares me.

  7. I honestly don’t believe there is any “whistle blower”. I believe the whole thing is a process in conspiracy and Schiff has joined forces with other liars to present this fairy tale. If I were called to Washington today, offered a couple million dollars for my testimony”, given a script on what to say behind closed doors, and was guaranteed that my name would never be released I could cause as much problem as this one who they CLAIM came forward on his/her own and blew the whistle. It has already been exposed that Schiff met with this person before any of this began.

  8. Maybe we should file a complaint against Schiff for lying to to the American people, misleading the American people, and lying to Congress. After all he read on national TV that Donald Trump said that he would withhold aid and then My President released the full transcript of the conversation proving that Schiff lied! He should be charged and sent to prison after all isn’t that what he did to others when they supposedly lied to congress. He is not above the law!!!

    • can’t understand why the american people are still letting him set up there spew the shit he is i have been watching the post the real americans are very tired of this illegal crap that they are doing this is why the constitution was created the forefathers new this would eventually happen and now it’s time to enforce it foreign or domestic

  9. President Trump is a great leader and will have no problem beating any of the opposing party’s presidential candidates. Voters need to back him up by voting out any democraps from congress or other political seats. The democrap/communists will just slide away into oblivion with their abortion/homosexual planks of their party destroying the future of their base. We need to keep our borders secure, and not let any more future democrap slaves come into this country for no other reason than to strip the hard working people of their savings and property.

  10. How many are aware that Nancy Pelosi has taken over TWO BILLION dollars from OUR Social Security Funds? That means when it come time to receive our cost of living increase in our monthly Social Security benefit, it will probably be denied due to lack of funds. Not only have they used the money we paid into the Social Security program as their personnel piggy bank but they have provided the “illegals” the right to sign up for our benefits as well. Congress nor the illegals added any money into the Social Security program so I’m guessing we will not be receiving a cost of living increase for 2020. This is wrong & we can’t stop the Democrats. I & my husband barely make it from month to month. Due to Obamacare mandates & regulations we lost our business, home, every vehicle, & every penny we had, leaving us at one point homeless & penniless. Right now, the Social Security benefits we receive is what we have to live on from month to month. What happens to us now? Our only source of income, which we paid into for a combined hundred years, is our Social Security benefit. We are penny pinching while Congress Democrats travel the World, people that stole into America illegally & all their family members live like Kings & Queens. This is NOT how it is supposed to be.

    • so the democrats did do something in 3 years they screwed the real american taxpayers that made this country this congress is not for the country it’s dead against it and we have them representing it what a joke

  11. i have a question for all trump lovers to justify to me if you can because what trump says is contradictory to rational sense? everyone says democrats are unfair to trump, how are they unfair impeachment hearings, both democrat and republican leaders have 45 minutes each to cross examine witnesses. each congressman/women have 5 minutes each to question witnesses. request for documents that can prove what trump is saying is true. but refuses to produce. key witnesses that trump says can prove things trump has barred from testify. all key information that is being use to charge trump is from trumps own cabinet that broke lines to testify most at there own request and all said the exact same thing except 1 person.
    but everyone believes trump wont lie but he claims he doesn’t know the 2 Russians working with his personal lawyer investigating things trump wants investigated, the 2 Russians both at a invite only fund raiser at the dc trump resort, both had pictures done with trump at the event. both had photos done visiting trump at the white house? at least one had photos done at different functions with his kids. but he doesn’t know them? they have also donated over a million dollars to the republican party.
    so why isn’t trump standing up saying this is lies here is the proof?
    the Mueller report that was to be published at the close of the case the only thing anyone knows is the short version that Barr wrote up within a short period after reading 448 pages and said Mueller approved it but came out Mueller never said, the proof that trump said proved his innocents that from what i heard Mueller say he can be charged once out of office. but only a few of trumps people have seen and No democrats have seen yet and they refuse to release it even though the law requires but its unfair to trump that he has barred people from providing the proof of his innocents

  12. this is not about trump it’s about the country and the agenda the so called democrats have for the country they want to destroy it if not stopped they will succeed and we will all live in third world conditions except for those bastards

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