The Legacy Nancy Pelosi Never Wanted > Dogecointool

The Legacy Nancy Pelosi Never Wanted

“This guy is a thug,” she fumed, “and he still ropes in 40 percent of the country.”

‘Let me tell you about Spain!’

By early December, impeachment was the last thing Pelosi wanted to talk about. Her moderates who had stuck their necks out to back the effort were getting crucified for it at home, and the more the nation focused on their investigation, the harder she knew it would be for those vulnerable members to win reelection.

“We need to change the narrative,” Congressman Anthony Brindisi, a New York Democrat from a Trump district, had told her in one meeting that fall. “We need a trade deal!” Congresswoman Haley Stevens of Michigan piped up in another, demanding Pelosi prioritize those negotiations with Trump over the endless barrage of impeachment messaging.

Pelosi sought to assuage them.

“We’ll have USMCA by Christmas,” she promised, referring to the forming trade agreement, the U.S.- Mexico- Canada Agreement, by its acronym. “A prescription drug bill as well.”

The truth was Pelosi was just as desperate as her moderates to push back against the suggestion that Democrats were solely focused on impeachment. She had been throwing the weight of her gavel behind a series of easy-sell bills on feel-good subjects like helping veterans and improving voting rights. She also started calling out Senate Republicans for refusing to take them up. Twice that fall, she had even marched over to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell’s office to protest his lack of action on legislation involving background checks for gun sales and immigration, a dramatic gesture that at any other time would have garnered major headlines. Against the backdrop of the final throes of impeachment, however, it barely made the media blink. All they wanted to talk about was the impending impeachment.

Her desperation to change the narrative was on full display during a CNN town hall on Dec. 5, 2019, as attendees peppered her with questions about removing Trump.

“Can we not have any more questions about impeachment?” Pelosi asked the host and audience with exasperation, trying to steer the subject to her recent climate policy trip to Madrid. “Let me tell you about Spain!”

Two months later, in the days that followed Trump’s acquittal in the Senate, when the president’s approval ratings reached the highest they had been since his inauguration, Pelosi would clamp down on congressional oversight and do all that she could to ensure House probes of Trump went underground. In a series of mid-February meetings in early 2020, the speaker would insist that Democrats stop focusing on Trump’s misdeeds and pivot all of their attention to policy before the election. No more high-profile Trump hearings. No more never-ending investigations.

“No more freelancing, no more emoluments,” she said sternly during a Feb. 11 meeting. “Get back to jobs and health care.”

That meant ignoring blockbuster revelations in former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book, where for the first time, a member of Trump’s inner circle wrote that Trump was indeed aware of and orchestrated the quid pro quo, leveraging taxpayer money for Ukrainian probes of his adversaries. When news about politicization out of the Southern District of New York’s investigation of Trump’s campaign finance violations surfaced, she tamped down an internal effort to impeach Attorney General Barr.

Eventually, much of the public would forget all about Democrats’ oversight, as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the nation and became the driving issue ahead of Trump’s reelection effort. The issue wouldn’t even merit a mention in either party’s presidential conventions.

‘Impeach him now’

And then it happened all over again.

On Jan. 6, 2021, thousands of Trump followers, goaded by his lies suggesting the 2020 reelection was stolen from him, stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives. It was as horrific as it was predictable, given how Trump’s first impeachment had only emboldened his reckless behavior. Suddenly, Pelosi’s caucus was plunged into a second impeachment crisis.

But if there were lessons to be taken from the first effort to oust Trump — about not pulling punches and leaving no investigative stone unturned — they were not applied to the second. Driven by their own outrage at what had happened inside the Capitol and a rapidly vanishing amount of time to hold Trump accountable, Democrats under Pelosi once again bulled forward at a breakneck tempo, leaving half the nation behind on the significance of what Trump had done and crippling their own effort to secure a conviction. But Pelosi was still hesitant.

In a late-night, emergency Zoom meeting with her leadership team on Saturday, Jan. 9, Pelosi discussed whether a second effort to oust Trump was even necessary. She and her staff had shut down an effort by rank-and-file progressives to impeach the former president the very night of the riot. And since then, Pelosi had been trying to find an offramp, knowing full well that other Democratic leaders were concerned about a second effort delaying Biden’s agenda and nominations to fill his Cabinet. Pelosi had also personally asked Schiff to make the case against another impeachment to their colleagues. And despite his public claim to support another effort, the Intelligence leader did as Pelosi requested, arguing that Democrats should be on the same page as the new president — and that if they went after Trump in his waning days in office, it would look like they were just trying to keep him from running again.

Yet during the Saturday call, even Pelosi’s advisers who had urged a more deliberate strategy during the first impeachment were now pressing for an accelerated process. After Schiff insisted Democrats “need to be looking forward,” Nadler pushed back hard. Trump’s actions, he argued, were so egregious they necessitated taking articles straight to the floor. Forget an investigation, Nadler continued. Forget a Judiciary Committee markup. They didn’t need to gather evidence and hold hearings. Lawmakers, he pointed out, had watched a crime unfold before their eyes.

“Impeach him now,” Nadler argued. “They can give him due process in the Senate trial.”

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