Five of the House Republican leaders — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) alongside House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), House Judiciary Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.), and House Oversight Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) — blasted Pelosi for her move to bring an impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Cheney called out the House Democrats for “careening” from different theories on Trump’s impeachment and blasted them as having a “complete lack of focus” when it came to the underlying facts.
“Ever since President Trump was elected, the House Democrats have been careening from impeachment theory to impeachment theory,” said Cheney. “[…] But what we’ve seen repeatedly is a complete lack of focus on concern about evidence and facts.”
“What Speaker Pelosi did yesterday really was the worst we’ve seen yet,” continued the Wyoming Republican, who added that the House speaker “announced an impeachment inquiry without any evidence,” looking into “details” from the whistleblower’s complaint, or even looking at the phone call transcript.
Collins torched the move as “a continuation of complete and utter disrespect” towards the House itself.
“I have one newsflash for the speaker,” said Collins. “She’s not doing an impeachment inquiry. She’s not doing the steps that it actually takes. It’s just another decision by this speaker and the House Democrats to disregard over 200 years of precedent in this House.”
“They are so bent at getting at this president,” added the Georgia Republican. “[…] It’s just amazing to me.”
Jordan called Tuesday an “unbelievable day” after Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry “about a document she hadn’t even seen.”
He went on to blast the Democrats as being “so focused on attacking” Trump that they are “looking for anything and everything” they can to get the president.
“My guess is because they are so focused on attacking the individual the American people made President of the United States that they’re looking for anything and everything. The Michael Cohen hearing didn’t work for them. The John Dean hearing didn’t work for them. The Mueller report and [Robert] Mueller hearing didn’t work for them. The [Corey] Lewandowski hearing didn’t work for them. So, let’s do a press conference and let’s talk about something we haven’t even seen, because maybe that will work.”
“That’s how desperate and ridiculous this has gotten,” added Jordan. “And I think the American people see through it.”
Scalise unloaded on Pelosi, calling the impeachment inquiry announcement a “low point” in the speaker’s tenure and blasted her for accusing Trump of committing an offense “to the level that it should meet the definition in the Constitution of high crimes and misdemeanor without even being able to name the crime.”
“If you’re going to base [an impeachment inquiry] on a press report from a second-hand person that thinks they heard something, and that’s the most you’ve got? To claim that crimes were committed?” continued the House minority whip. “This is a serious responsibility that the Congress has.”
McCarthy eviscerated Pelosi as “demean[ing]” her office by claiming that Trump “violated the law” based on hearsay from a whistleblower’s report she had not read.
“I just watched the speaker yesterday demean the office of the speakership. I understand members when they want to be political, but the power of the speaker is a much different place to be. I listened to the speaker claim that the president violated the law based on nothing that she had read. Based upon a whistleblower that wasn’t even listening to a conversation, with an [inspector general] saying that the whistleblower has political bias.”
“Make no mistake: yesterday was a dark day for America,” added McCarthy. “It was a dark day for the rule of law that the speaker of the House would claim that a president violated the law without having any information to judge it on.”
Watch the press conference below:
On Tuesday, Pelosi announced that the House would look into an impeachment inquiry of the president regarding a July phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that was the subject of a whistleblower complaint.
The complaint alleged that Trump pressured the Ukranian president into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, but Zelenskyy insisted on Wednesday that the phone call was “normal” and that “nobody pushed” him into an investigation of the former vice president.
As IJR previously reported, the move sparked ire amongst conservatives with Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) calling the transcript itself “a nothing (quid pro quo) burger” in a Wednesday tweet.