House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was heavily criticized on social networks on Wednesday for using the impeachment ceremony for President Donald Trump to distribute pens to other Democrats as souvenirs of the occasion, The Blaze reported.
The signing ceremony for the controversial impeachment articles by Democrats in the House of Representatives, which is now being referred to the Senate, was covered live on CNN.
In the images, also broadcast on social networks, a smiling Pelosi can be seen handing out souvenir pens and seeming to celebrate the occasion, which was contradictory months ago when she referred to the situation as “sad” and “gloomy.”
Even anti-Trump people criticized Pelosi’s behavior, such as Harvard professor Tom Nichols, who tweeted, “Pelosi has handled the optics of impeachment well, right up until that signing ceremony, which was awkward. Handing out pens should have been done in private. This was not some celebratory moment.”
Republican Party national spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington released a video of Pelosi’s pen distribution, adding, “You know what you hand out pens for? Accomplishments. Like, say, signing a historic trade deal with China. So it’s fitting that Democrats are handing out pens for their sole accomplishment: impeachment Democrats have done NOTHING for the American people.”
You know what you hand out pens for? Accomplishments.
Like, say, signing a historic trade deal with China.
So it's fitting that Democrats are handing out pens for their sole accomplishment: impeachment
Democrats have done NOTHING for the American people pic.twitter.com/SPKGrD0SkL
— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) January 15, 2020
Even CNN commentators, who lean to the left, commented that handing out the pens had been somewhat misplaced.
CNN’s Dana Bash and Nia-Malika Henderson criticized the ceremony, saying it had a dissonant tone.
Bash said after the ceremony, “We are used to seeing signing ceremonies, handing out pens at moments of celebration, when a president is signing is legislation, when even sometimes … when the House sends over a landmark piece of legislation. It was unusual to see that kind of ceremony and handing out the pens and smiling for a picture in this kind of situation where the House Speaker has bent over backward to say publicly and privately this is somber, this is not a time for celebration,” according to Mediaite.
Henderson agreed it was “jarring” and “off-message,” saying, “You heard Nancy Pelosi say that this is a sad and tragic day, and then there she is holding up the pen and having photographs taken with those pens, so it is a little off-message for somebody who has tried to set a very serious tone and here she is posing for the photographs with the pen.”
The impeachment case against President Trump was initiated following an anonymous complaint by an intelligence service member who accused the president of pressuring Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to investigate the controversial dealings of Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his son (who were involved in a mega-corruption case involving a European country’s gas company).
According to the complaint, the alleged ‘quid pro quo’ (demanding one thing in return for another) took place during a phone call between the two leaders and would have consisted of Zelenskiy refusing to investigate Biden and the White House withholding millions in US aid to Ukraine.
However, both presidents denied any pressure and the promised aid was delivered to Ukraine in a timely manner.
That is why the Republicans have asked, from the beginning of the process, to be able to question the anonymous whistleblower who accused President Trump (despite not having been a direct witness to the call), which the Democrats have actively blocked.
It should be noted that no Republican in the House of Representatives voted to remove President Trump, as did three Democratic representatives. One opposition congressman also abstained.
Now the impeachment for the alleged charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power has been referred to the Republican-majority Senate, where it will likely be given ‘express’ treatment.