Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s words from 1998 about the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton are being used against her now as many critics are calling her a hypocrite in light of her decision this week to push for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
“Today, the Republican majority is not judging the president with fairness, but impeaching him with a vengeance,” Pelosi said on December 18, 1998. “In the investigation of the president, fundamental principles which Americans hold dear — privacy, fairness, checks and balances — have been seriously violated. And why Because we are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton. And until the Republicans free themselves of this hatred, our country will suffer.”
Pelosi’s words stand out after it was announced this week that the Democrats are moving ahead with their plans to impeach Trump over a phone call that he had with Ukraine, which Pelosi condemned after admitting that she had not even read the transcript of the phone call.
Pelosi (1998) vs. Pelosi (2019) pic.twitter.com/5AaXo1ebfQ
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) September 25, 2019
Transcript of Pelosi’s 1998 speech provided via CNN:
Thank you. Today, the Republican majority is not judging the president with fairness, but impeaching him with a vengeance. In the investigation of the president, fundamental principles which Americans hold dear — privacy, fairness, checks and balances — have been seriously violated. And why?
PELOSI: Because we are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton. And until the Republicans free themselves of this hatred, our country will suffer.
I rise to oppose the unfair motions which all for the removal of the president of the United States from office, and in doing so, wish to point out some differences between the investigation of the president and the investigation of Newt Gingrich.
The first principle in our investigation of Newt Gingrich was that at the moment we found exculpatory information, it would be reported immediately to the accused and be made public.
The independent counsel knew that the president was exonerated with Travelgate, Whitewater, and Filegate and he held that information until the hearing, indeed until after the election. This was not fair. Indeed, it is the responsibility of any prosecutor to immediately release information that is exculpatory.
This is not about — So it’s not about Whitewater, it’s not about Travelgate, and it’s not about Filegate. It’s about sex. It’s about a punishment searching for a crime that doesn’t exist.
In the Gingrich probe, we drew every inference in favor of the accused. But in this case, it took a closing question from a member of the grand jury to Monica Lewinsky to say, “Is there anything you would like to add to your prior testimony?” for Monica Lewinsky to respond, and I quote, “No one ever asked me to lie, and I was never promised a job for my silence.”
The point is why didn’t the independent counsel elicit that important testimony? In the Gingrich case, we spent a major part of our report explaining the laws which were violated. The Judiciary Committee has not proven perjury, it’s not even defined perjury. Instead, it has kept the subject intentionally vague.
Whether one is violating a marital vow or some other aspect of his personal behavior, it is not an impeachable offense. You have not proven perjury.
In the Gingrich probe, we had a bipartisan unanimous vote in our subcommittee and an almost unanimous vote on the floor because we built consensus and we tried to bring the matter to closure.