Kevin McCarthy says Speaker Pelosi is admitting defeat by not sending articles of impeachment to the Senate
During a press conference of his own on Thursday, McCarthy was asked whether he took the impeachment as a defeat. After declaring it "a defeat to the Constitution," McCarthy took a jab at the speaker.
"The question you probably wanted to ask was to the speaker. Unfortunately, she would not take any questions when it came to impeachment," he said.
Pelosi, D-Calif., did briefly address impeachment during her session with reporters, in a bid to tamp down speculation over why she is holding off on transmitting the two articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial.
But as reporters continued to pepper her with questions on the subject, the speaker responded, "I said what I was going to say." She later asked if anyone had questions about other issues such as the "SALT tax," stating, "I'm not going to answer any more questions on this."
McCarthy minutes later torched Pelosi for shutting down impeachment-related questions.
"I would think if Nancy Pelosi thought impeachment was so important that she had to put this before the American public … the press conference the day after impeachment — that she has weekly — I thought she would have welcomed questions about impeachment," McCarthy said. "Unfortunately, she told you they were Republican talking points and she would not take your questions. I never thought a speaker would act that way."
McCarthy hypothesized why Pelosi did not want to address the issue.
"I guess, the only thing I could take from that is she’s embarrassed of it, she understands how weak it is, she understands her own criteria was not met, constitutionally it was not met, she probably failed on all parts," he said.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham also slammed Pelosi for her press conference.
Pelosi, though, did respond to speculation and criticism from Republicans that Democrats are playing games with the impeachment process.
"Frankly, I don't care what the Republicans say," she said.
Regarding the delay, Pelosi signaled the House will wait to learn more about the Senate trial process before naming so-called impeachment managers — who essentially serve as prosecutors in a trial. If that moves forward, Trump would be expected to win acquittal in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Trump was impeached on two articles alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, related to his efforts over the summer to press Ukraine into investigating Democrats — all while U.S. aid money was withheld.