Pelosi: No grounds for impeaching Trump

Pelosi: No grounds for impeaching Trump
© Greg Nash

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday that President Trump’s first weeks in office have been deeply troubling, but offer no grounds for impeachment.

The House minority leader was responding to recent comments from Rep. Maxine Waters, a fellow California Democrat, who said last week that her “greatest desire is to lead [Trump] right into impeachment.” 

Pelosi was more cautious, saying the new president has been reckless and incompetent but hasn’t done anything criminal to merit his removal by Congress.

“[There] are grounds for displeasure and unease in the public about the performance of this president, who has acted in a way that is strategically incoherent, that is incompetent and that is reckless,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. “And that is not grounds for impeachment.  

“When and if he breaks the law, that is when something like that would come up. But that’s not the subject of today.” 

Waters, appearing on the dais beside Pelosi, clarified her earlier comments, saying they came in response to the “questions and pleas” she’s hearing from constituents about Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries and his friendly relationship with the Kremlin, among other contentious issues. 

Any threat to Trump’s presidency has been self-inflicted, Waters said, while stipulating that Congress must step in at some point if he continues down the path of aggressive and unilateral policymaking he’s adopted in the first two weeks.

“I have not called for the impeachment — yet. He’s doing it himself,” Waters said. 

“I think he is leading himself into that kind of position, where folks will begin to ask, ‘What are we going to do?’ And the answer’s going to be, eventually, we’ve got to do something about him. We cannot continue to have a president who’s acting in this manner. It is dangerous to the United States of America.” 

Trump has set a dizzying pace in his first weeks in office, issuing a string of executive orders designed to eliminate many of the legislative achievements of President Obama and the Democrats, including ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Last week, a federal judge said Trump had overstepped when he put a blanket travel ban on refugees and most travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.  

Pelosi said she’d been optimistic that Democrats in Congress would be able to forge an effective working relationship with Trump, but his initial actions have quickly eroded those hopes. 

“While it’s only a couple of weeks since the inauguration … we’ve seen nothing that we can work — that I can work — with President [Trump] on,” Pelosi said. “And I’m disappointed, because I thought that there might be some interest because of what he said in the campaign.” 

Monday’s press conference was called to hammer Trump’s recent executive orders vowing to scale back regulations on Wall Street banks, including those installed by Democrats with the 2010 passage of Dodd-Frank. 

Pelosi said Trump’s actions are evidence that his campaign promise to stand up to Wall Street on behalf of the middle class was merely “a hoax.”

“President Trump and his billionaire Cabinet and his advisers … are putting forth a Wall Street-first policy at the expense of the American people,” she said. “They want to take us back.”