House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reacts to members applauding after announcing the result of the vote to impeach President Trump, on December 18 last year. (Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
(CNSNews.com) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday did not rule out the possibility of another impeachment push, referring to the responsibility “to use every arrow in our quiver” when asked about ways to prevent a Supreme Court nominee confirmation this year.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Pelosi was asked how the House could forestall a bid by President Trump to fill the vacancy resulting from the death on Friday of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The U.S. Senate is responsible for confirmations, but host George Stephanopoulos floated several options for the House, including leveraging negotiations over government funding, or moving to impeach Trump or Attorney General Bill Barr.
On government funding, Pelosi said that despite “some exuberance on the left,” no-one has any interest in shutting down the government.
However, she did not in the same way discount the possibility of impeachment in the event the GOP-controlled Senate seeks to confirm a Trump court nominee – even during a lame-duck session should Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden win in November.
“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,” Stephanopoulos said.
“Well, we have our options,” replied Pelosi. “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. This president has threatened to not even accept the results of the election, with statements that he and his henchmen have made.”
Pelosi for a few more moments accused the administration of threatening the integrity of the election and failing to protect Americans’ health in the coronavirus pandemic, before Stephanopoulos probed again.
“But to be clear, you’re not taking any arrows out of your quiver, you’re not ruling anything out?”
“Good morning, Sunday morning. See ya,” Pelosi said – possibly greeting someone off-camera – before continuing, “We have a responsibility. We take 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.”
Last December Trump became the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. The House, voting almost entirely along party lines, impeached him for “abuse of power” over his dealings with Ukraine, and for “obstruction of Congress.” The Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him the following month.
Democrats are insisting that a nominee for the Supreme Court not be confirmed before the election – or during the lame-duck Senate session in the event Trump is defeated.
Trump announced on Saturday night that he will announce his candidate next week – and that it will be a woman. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged that a Trump nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the Senate.
Biden in a speech in Philadelphia on Sunday issued an appeal to “those Senate Republicans out there who know deep down what is right for the country – not just for their party.”
“Even if President Trump wants to put forward a name now, the Senate should not act on it until after the American people select their next president and the next Congress,” he said.
“If Donald Trump wins the election, then the Senate should move on his selection – and weigh that nominee fairly.”
“But if I win the election, President Trump’s nomination should be withdrawn,” he said. “As the new president, I should be the one who nominates Justice Ginsburg’s successor, a nominee who should get a fair hearing in the Senate before a confirmation vote.”
Biden reiterated that should he be in a position to nominate a Supreme Court justice, he will name a black woman – a pledge he made during a Democratic presidential debate in Charleston, S.C. last February.
Since Trump earlier this month released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees in the event of a vacancy arising, his campaign has been challenging Biden to do the same.
But Biden said Sunday he would not release a list before the end of the presidential campaign, arguing that any nominee “would be the subject of unrelenting political attacks” for months, without being able to defend herself.