The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump concluded Saturday with a 57-43 vote in favor of his being guilty of inciting an insurrection on January 6 — 10 votes shy of the 67-vote threshold necessary for a conviction.
Needless to say, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was infuriated by the final result. She made her feelings abundantly clear about the “cowardly Republicans” who acquitted Trump in a news conference with House impeachment managers, Fox News reported.
Pelosi actually wasn’t even supposed to participate in that news conference but said that she felt compelled to speak her mind after listening to a “disingenuous” speech from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about Trump’s level of guilt and responsibility once the proceedings had concluded.
She’s unhappy, to say the least
“But what we saw in that Senate today was a cowardly group of Republicans who apparently have no options because they were afraid to defend their job, respect the institution in which they serve,” Pelosi said. “Imagine that it would be vandalized in so many bad ways that I won’t even go into here, and that they would not respect their institution.”
“That the President of the Senate, Mike Pence — ‘Hang Mike Pence’ was the chant — and they just dismissed that,” she continued. “Why? Because maybe they can’t get another job. What is so important about any one of us? What is so important about the political survival of any one of us that is more important than our Constitution that we take an oath to protect and defend?”
Pelosi then accused McConnell of purposely delaying the start of the impeachment trial until after Trump had already left office and ripped him for doing so, even as mere moments later she asserted that the delay didn’t even matter and that there was precedent for impeaching former elected officials after they’d left office.
The Speaker then attempted to walk away from the press conference but immediately returned to address questions posed by reporters, during which she shredded McConnell once again for his post-vote remarks on Trump’s culpability after having nonetheless voted himself to acquit the former president.
Pelosi claimed McConnell had “hedged” his position and said, “I don’t know whether it was for donors or what. But whatever it was, it was a very disingenuous speech.”
Pelosi: Censure is a “slap on the wrist”
She was then asked if Congress should consider formally censuring Trump as an option for accountability, but that suggestion only prompted another angry explosion by the House Speaker.
“Censure is a slap in the face of the Constitution that gives — lets everybody off the hook. It lets everybody off the hook,” Pelosi replied. “Oh, these cowardly Senators who couldn’t face up to what the President did and what was at stake for our country are now going to have a chance to give a slap on the wrist?”
“We censure people for using stationery for the wrong purpose. We don’t censure people for inciting insurrection that kills people in the Capitol,” she added. Watch below: