Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made headlines again recently when she denied claims that she set the precedent for impeachment in the U.S. House of Representatives.

During an interview Thursday on MSNBC, the California Democrat responded to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s claim that he started an impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden without a full House vote because she had already established the precedent for such a move in 2019 when she started an investigation into President Donald Trump.

McCarthy told reporters that Pelosi, D-Calif., “changed the precedents for the House” while she was speaker, which is why he decided against putting the matter to a floor vote.

Without a vote from the entire House, Pelosi opened the first impeachment investigation into Trump in 2019. About two and a half months after she announced the formal investigation, House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against him.

MSNBC host Willie Geist asked Pelosi: “And Speaker Pelosi, Speaker McCarthy made the argument the other day that ‘Well, Nancy Pelosi set this precedent. She waited a long time to have a vote on the first impeachment of Donald Trump.’ You did hold a vote, we should add, but he said you made the rules, and he’s just following them now by not holding this initial vote for an impeachment inquiry. What do you say to that?”

Pelosi immediately got worked up over the question, saying, “I say that that’s hogwash. I mean, it’s ridiculous. And I don’t know why the press keeps repeating it. The fact is, we said we were going to — I assigned committee chairs, six of them to develop the — the facts, because you have to act upon the facts. That’s a strange thing to say, maybe around here, but you have to act upon the facts.”


“They’ve had eight months of investigation come up with nothing and now they’re trying to say, ‘Well, we’re not going to have a vote because Nancy didn’t have a vote the first day.’ No, we had a vote, we were in preparation for a vote. But again, this is a big deal, an impeachment. You have to do it with care, and not on impulse. And until we had the case, ready that’s when we went forward,” Pelosi added.

She continued: “Now, they again had been investigating for months, coming up with nothing and now they’re going to say on the basis of nothing we’re not going to have a vote on how we go forward. Don’t blame it on me, take responsibility for what you were doing there, and don’t misrepresent the care that we took, the respect that we had for the institution to go forward in a way that really addresses the high crimes and misdemeanors of Donald Trump.”

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