Pelosi calls Trump impeachment letter ‘ridiculous’ and ‘really sick’
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday derided President Trump’s scathing letter urging her to halt the impeachment proceedings as “ridiculous” and “really sick.”
Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill that she had not gotten the opportunity to read the full letter, which accused Democrats of waging an “unconstitutional abuse of power” by moving forward with an impeachment vote over Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
“I’ve seen the essence of it, though, and it’s really sick,” Pelosi said as she walked through the halls of Congress.
Pelosi says Trump’s letter is “really sick.” pic.twitter.com/8HtOUPVVny
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) December 17, 2019
The Democratic-controlled House is prepared to vote on Wednesday on two articles of impeachment charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Nearly every Democratic lawmaker is expected to vote in favor of the impeachment articles, which are based on an inquiry largely focused on allegations that Trump urged the Ukrainian president to open politically beneficial investigations.
In anticipation of the vote, Trump sent a six-page letter to Pelosi imploring she and her Democratic colleagues to “immediately cease this impeachment fantasy.”
The expansive letter attempts to turn the tables on Democrats, accusing the party’s lawmakers of engaging in the type of conduct they have alleged of Trump. Echoing language he’s used before, Trump called Democrats’ efforts “nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup.”
“You are not just after me, as President, you are after the entire Republican Party,” Trump wrote.
“You are the ones interfering in America’s election. You are the ones subverting America’s Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice,” he added. “You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain.”
The letter represented Trump’s first official correspondence with Pelosi amid the House impeachment inquiry.
Just hours later, Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues that they would be “derelict” in their congressional duty if they did not vote to impeach the president. In a “Dear Colleague” letter, Pelosi said that House’s impeachment inquiry “made clear that the president abused his power for his own personal, political benefit and that he obstructed Congress as he demanded that he is above accountability, above the Constitution and above the American people.”
The Democrats’ House impeachment inquiry focused largely on allegations that Trump tied military aid to Ukraine to announcing investigations into 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and a conspiracy theory related to the 2016 election. Trump has repeatedly pushed back against accusations of wrongdoing, often describing his conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as “perfect.”