Just hours after House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, he referred to them as “flimsy, pathetic, [and] ridiculous” at a capacity-crowd rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the Washington Examiner reported.
More than 10,000 people gathered at the Giant Center in the central Pennsylvania town on Tuesday evening. More stood outside in the rain and wind to watch it on screens when they couldn’t get inside.
“Today, the House Democrats announced these two flimsy, pathetic, ridiculous articles of impeachment,” Trump told the crowd. “With today’s announcement, they are now admitting there was no collusion, there was no obstruction of justice, and there were no crimes, whatsoever!”
The House accused Trump of abusing his power during a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, and of obstructing Congress by not allowing some of his officials and associates to testify during hearings on the matter.
“They want to win an election”
Despite weeks of hearings and statements by House Democrats suggesting they believed Trump had engaged in a quid pro quo, bribery, and extortion, the draft articles of impeachment released earlier this week by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) didn’t contain these accusations. Internal polling reportedly suggested that voters weren’t buying what Democrats were trying to sell, so the narrative changed repeatedly over the weeks of hearings.
“They are impeaching me. Do you know why?” Trump asked the rally audience Tuesday. “Because they want to win an election, and that’s the only way they can do it.”
While Trump may be right about Democrats’ motives for impeaching him, the latest polls show that he now leads all Democrat challengers in several battleground states and that more people oppose impeachment than in previous polls, according to Axios.
Indeed, what Democrats intended as a 2020 election insurance policy may end up helping Trump gain the advantage over Democrats in the end. So far, it has helped his poll numbers rather than hurt.
“Impeachment is a very ugly word”
On Tuesday, Trump also called Democrats’ efforts “impeachment lite,” characterizing it as the “the lightest, weakest” impeachment “in the history of our country by far,” according to the Examiner.
He also said that Congress was abusing its power in its handling of impeachment and that they were not treating the solemn process properly.
“To me, impeachment is a very ugly word. It’s a word I associate with some very bad times in our country,” Trump said. “This was a big deal. They are making it so it’s like, ‘Let’s do this every six months.’ They have cheapened a process.”
Trump has said that if the House is going to impeach him, they should do it quickly and get it over with. Fortunately for Trump, it is expected that the Senate will not vote to convict him if a trial is held there.