We thought we’d already reached peak 2019 with President Trump telling climate alarmist Greta Thunberg to “chill,” but the duly elected President of the United States outdid himself on his favorite social media platform on Sunday.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi struggled to give a coherent answer to why the Democrats, after zeroing in on the charge of “bribery” heading into the public impeachment testimonies, glaringly left the charge out of their articles of impeachment, President Trump offered a theory about why she was having such a hard time answering the question.
“You yourself accused [President Trump] of bribery,” a reporter asked Pelosi at a press conference last week. “Why did you decide not to make bribery one of the articles of impeachment.”
Pelosi, who was moving her mouth uncomfortably, then took a drink of water while the question was being asked, put the cup down and responded.
“I myself am not a lawyer,” she began, pausing for a moment apparently to finish swallowing, then smacked her lips, “sometimes I act like one — not as often as I act like a doctor. I practice medicine on the side, without benefit of a diploma, too,” she said with a mischievous grin.
She then gave her more serious, though notably vague response. “This was a decision that was recommended by working together with our committee chairs, our attorneys and the rest,” said the speaker.
Question: "You yourself accused [Trump] of bribery. Why did you decide not to make bribery one of the articles of impeachment."
Speaker Pelosi: "This was a decision that was recommended by working together with our committee chairs, our attorneys and the rest." pic.twitter.com/wDEydLweTm
— The Hill (@thehill) December 13, 2019
North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows retweeted the clip of the exchange and offered a more precise and concise answer for Pelosi.
“Because it wasn’t true,” wrote Meadows.
Because it wasn’t true https://t.co/YKb51C6CIN
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) December 13, 2019
President Trump picked up on Meadows’ post and offered his own theory about why Pelosi seemed to have such a hard time answering the straightforward question.
“Because Nancy’s teeth were falling out of her mouth, and she didn’t have time to think!” Trump tweeted Sunday.
Because Nancy’s teeth were falling out of her mouth, and she didn’t have time to think! https://t.co/rx3pcyofip
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2019
Because it’s 2019, The Washington Post felt compelled to work in a quick fact-check of Trump’s comments in its coverage of his trolling tweet.
In a piece titled “Trump goes after Pelosi’s teeth as the House gears up for impeachment vote,” the Post writes of the clip: “The video shows that just before answering the reporter’s question, Pelosi moved her mouth slightly and took a sip of water, but her teeth did not appear out of place and her speech was not interrupted.”
The Post also reached out to Pelosi’s office, but “did not immediately offer a comment about the president’s tweet Sunday night.”
After repeatedly accusing Trump of imposing a “quid pro quo” on Ukraine for U.S. security aid, the Democrats shifted their rhetoric ahead of the public impeachment hearings to focus on one key charge: “bribery.” However, as noted by Republicans, none of the witnesses so much as uttered the word bribery or bribe during their testimonies.
When it finally came time to draft their articles of impeachment, “bribery” was nowhere to be found. Instead, the Democrats accused Trump of “obstruction of Congress” and the extremely vague charge of “abuse of power.”
Neither of the two charges are specified in the Constitution’s impeachment clause, which cites “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” as potentially impeachable offenses. The Democrats maintain that their two accusations both constitute “high crimes and misdemeanors,” a contention that Republicans and some legal analysts, including Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz, refute. The charge of “abuse of office” or power, Dershowitz tweeted during the House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings, “do not appear in the Constitution and such vague criteria were rejected by the Framers.”