McCarthy alleges timing of Pelosi’s announcement on USMCA was politically motivated
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) alleged Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) waited to announce her support for the historic United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) trade deal until Democrats unveiled articles of impeachment in an attempt to provide cover for members of her caucus in swing districts that supported President Trump in 2016.
During a press conference on Tuesday morning, top Democrats in the House unveiled two charges against the president: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Soon after, Pelosi held a press conference to announce House Democrats and the White House reached an agreement to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
McCarthy claimed the timing of the announcements signals impeachment is not a winning issue for Democrats.
“If you need any more evidence of how unpopular impeachment is, watch the two press conferences today. After announcing impeachment within less than an hour, the Speaker finally relented and said she would bring USMCA up. She has held it for more than a year making America weaker in our negotiations with China, our No. 1 and No. 2 traders, with Mexico and Canada was being held up within our own agreement,” he told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.
“But those who are vulnerable in this vote for impeachment continued to make the argument, as the rest of America was too. At no time when she would bring this bill up was there ever fear of it not passing, but the only reason she finally relented was because of the unpopularity of impeachment itself.”
Pelosi’s office shot down accusations the timing of the announcement in USMCA was politically motivated.
“Ambassador Lighthizer is signing the agreement today in Mexico so that proves McCarthy’s point is bogus,” Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, said in a statement.
McCarthy went on to say he doesn’t believe Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Guiliani’s decision to travel to Europe and meet with former Ukrainian prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko this week makes it any more difficult to defend the president. McCarthy did not comment on whether he thought it was appropriate for Guiliani to be in Ukraine.
“He is an individual citizen, that is not the question that we have before us, it’s about impeachment. You’ve got to understand what impeachment means. Impeachment is the removal of the highest elected person in this land,” he said.
“I don’t care if you think Americans who support President Trump or deplorable, but you do not have the right to disqualify their vote, just because you do not like President Trump.”
When asked whether he agreed with the president that the July 25 call with the president of Ukraine was “perfect,” McCarthy said he does not believe impeachable conduct took place.
“We are members of Congress, we’re going to take the vote on two articles of impeachment. We’re not going to take a vote on whether a call was perfect, because that’s not what’s before us,” he said. “You may think impeachment’s not important, but it hinges not only on our nation but what the rest of the world is going to look at, from an idea of who we are.”