When House Democrat leaders announced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) made it clear that he believed Trump cheated to win the White House in 2016 and planned to do the same in 2020, making it necessary to impeach and remove him from office now to protect the integrity of the upcoming election.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), however, offered up a contradictory view later that same day, when she said in an interview that impeachment “isn’t about elections” at all but, is instead about protecting the Constitution, Breitbart reported.
Schiff cites election concerns
The article of impeachment focused on alleged “abuse of power” by the president is centered on the notion that Trump solicited Ukrainian interference in the 2020 election by coercing the launch of investigations that would prove politically beneficial to him.
Schiff, who apparently has ignored the findings of Robert Mueller’s extensive probe into alleged Trump–Russia collusion, still believes that Trump solicited and accepted interference on his behalf by Russia in the 2016 election.
The California congressman expressed his fervent belief on Tuesday morning that, if not impeached and removed from office immediately, Trump would “cheat” once again to win in 2020 with the aid of a foreign nation.
Detailing the urgency of the situation and asserting that waiting for court decisions or additional documents and testimony was not an option, Schiff declared: “The president’s misconduct goes to the heart of whether we can conduct a free and fair election in 2020.”
He went on: “It is bad enough for a candidate to invite foreign interference in our political process, but it is far more corrosive for a president to do so and to abuse his power to make it so.”
Rep. Adam Schiff makes the argument why Congress can’t just wait on impeachment:
Why don’t you just wait amounts to saying: “Why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election?”pic.twitter.com/R84yUGXY7L
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) December 10, 2019
Pelosi says otherwise
Later on Tuesday, however, Pelosi appeared to undermine that declaration from Schiff, stating that the impeachment of President Trump had little to do with elections and was more about upholding oaths and defending the Constitution, if not democracy itself.
“If we believe that our Constitution is being violated, that our very democracy is at stake…what are we there for? Just to have a job?” Pelosi said of her fellow Democrats in Congress at the Politico “Women Rule Summit” in Washington.
“We take an oath to protect and defend. If we did not do that, we would be, again, delinquent in our duties,” Pelosi added. “So this isn’t about elections, it’s about the Constitution.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “We take an oath to protect and defend. If we did not do that, we would be again delinquent in our duties. So this isn’t about elections, it’s about the Constitution. … This is about patriotism” https://t.co/JNZoJjWTJ8 pic.twitter.com/jDxTGPlmBJ
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 10, 2019
What’s the truth?
To be sure, Pelosi also mentioned a concern about election integrity at other points in her rambling responses to questions about impeachment, meaning she not only contradicted and undermined Schiff, but also herself as to the underlying reason for their urgent effort to see President Trump removed from office.
Given the conflicting statements from Pelosi, one can only wonder whether the real reason for impeachment is a desire to protect election integrity, upholding constitutional oaths, or simply the Democrats’ burning conviction that the Bad Orange Man must go.