Pelosi acted ‘unilaterally’ on the impeachment inquiry and ‘now she’s dictating the committee to actually draft articles of impeachment? It is an abuse of power.’ — Ken Starr
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made news Thursday by ordering up articles of impeachment. “The president leaves us no choice but to act,” the San Francisco Democrat explained, “because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.”
Pelosi’s announcement followed a day of testimony from Democrats’ anti-Trump attorneys: Noah Feldman of Harvard Law school, Michael Gerhardt of North Carolina University School of Law, and Pamela Karlan of Stanford Law School. The Republicans’ only choice was Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School, a Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 but referred to Donald Trump as the “duly elected president of the United States.”
Before the heated testimony on Wednesday, Speaker Pelosi telegraphed her move from a United Nations climate conference in Spain. “By coming here, we want to say to everyone we are still are still in, the United States is still in,” Pelosi said.
What the United States was “still in,” was the climate accord from which President Trump had withdrawn. Pelosi’s presumption to speak for the United States foreshadowed her action on Thursday in calling for articles of impeachment, which she claimed to do “with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders, and a heart full of love for America.”
“The president leaves us no choice but to act,” Pelosi added, “because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.”
Also before Pelosi made the call on Thursday, President Trump said the Democrats “have gone crazy.” If they were going to impeach, the president tweeted, “do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our country can get back to business.” Judiciary Committee boss Jerrold Nadler sees no problem, but that has not always been the case.
In 1998, during impeachment proceedings for Bill Clinton, Rep. Nadler proclaimed, “There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political parties and largely opposed by the other. Such an impeachment would lack legitimacy, would produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.”
Former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, a veteran of the Clinton impeachment, told Fox News, “It’s an outrage to seize control of the deliberate process of a committee” and wondered “where did she [Pelosi] get this power?” As Starr noted, Pelosi had acted “unilaterally” on the impeachment inquiry and “now she’s dictating the committee to actually draft articles of impeachment? It is an abuse of power.”
In similar style on Wednesday, Jonathan Turley warned Democrats that if they move to impeach, “it’s your abuse of power.”