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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday refused to rule out the possibility of congressional Democrats launching an impeachment proceeding against President Donald Trump as a maneuver to prevent a conservative justice from filling the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Trump has said he wants to move ahead with the process of confirming a new justice. Democrats want Trump to wait until after the election in the hope that Democrat Joe Biden will win.
Pelosi was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on the ABC program “This Week,” and cast Trump as a villain out to snatch the election.
Stephanopoulos asked whether the House might revisit impeaching Trump.
“Some have mentioned the possibility if they try to push through a nominee in a lame-duck session that you and the House can move to impeach President Trump or Attorney General Barr as a way of stalling and preventing the Senate from acting on this nomination,” he said.
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“Well, we have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now, but the fact is we have a big challenge in our country,” she replied.
She then claimed that Trump “has threatened to not even accept the results of the election with statements that he and his henchmen have made.”
“So, right now, our main goal and I think Ruth Bader Ginsburg would want that to be, would be to protect the integrity of the election as we protect the American people from the coronavirus, and that’s — I have faith in the American people on this Sunday morning. I hope and pray we have a vaccine, and that it would be soon, but it must be safe and efficacious when we do, not one day sooner, not one day later than that,” she said.
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“But the fact is, this administration has been a total failure in protecting the health and well-being of the American people, and it has had an impact on our economy. The lives, the livelihood and the life of our democracy are threatened by this administration. So, again, when people say, ‘what can I do?’ You can vote. You can get out the vote, and you can do so as soon as possible,” she said.
Stephanopoulos tried to focus on impeachment.
“But to be clear, you’re not taking any arrows out of your quiver, you’re not ruling anything out?” he asked.
“Good morning. Sunday morning,” Pelosi joked. “Yeah. We have a responsibility. We’ve taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. We have a responsibility to meet the needs of the American people.
“That is when we weigh the equities of protecting our democracy requires us to use every arrow in our quiver,” she said.
Pelosi’s comments drew a harsh reaction on Twitter.
🚨 Pelosi is refusing to rule out impeaching @realDonaldTrump again solely to delay the Senate filling the Supreme Court vacancy.
Impeachment was never about a “crime” for Dems.
They only care about one thing: their own power—and they’ll stop at nothing to get it. Scary. pic.twitter.com/5UEFmuzsUJ
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) September 20, 2020
Nancy Pelosi is threatening impeachment to stop @realDonaldTrump‘s SCOTUS nomination.
This woman is a threat to our democracy.
Pelosi needs to be voted out of Congress and never let back in!
— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) September 20, 2020
Although Pelosi did not answer Stephanopoulos when he asked if she supported a proposal advanced by Democratic Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts to increase the number of justices on the court to take any majority away from conservatives, earlier in the interview, she did say Congress could fight the court.
“Congress has the ability to overturn the injustices that spring from the Supreme Court, and that’s why we have to have a big turnout in this election, not for politics, not for anything other than what it means to people in their homes, in their lives,” she said.
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