In touting her history as an allegedly topnotch congressional investigator, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chose Tuesday to compare herself to widely criticized House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff.
She posited the bizarre comparison while replying to a question at The Atlantic Festival.
“So let me just say this,” she said. “I have more experience in intelligence than anybody in the Congress. At least 25 years. I was a member of the committee. I was the top Democrat. I was the Adam Schiff.”
Given Schiff’s track record for propagating conspiracy theories and wearing so much egg on his face, perhaps she should have compared herself to someone else.
Her reply is below:
Not seen in the video above, the question concerned the “whistleblower scandal” non-scandal.
“So we’re in a strange and unprecedented situation in this country,” the interviewer began. “We have a president who apparently or evidently reached out to a foreign leader to ask that foreign leader to investigate one of his domestic political rivals.”
“Which is another way of saying that the president of the United States asked a foreign government to interfere in an election and possibly subordinated American national security interests to his own personal needs and desires. My question to you is, is that an impeachable offense?”
The entire question was based on a still-unsubstantiated, media-crafted conspiracy theory alleging that President Donald Trump tried during a phone call over the summer to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching an investigation into 2020 contender former Vice President Joe Biden’s alleged corruption.
But instead of answering the question honestly by admitting that she does believe that these conspiratorial allegations merit an impeachment, she launched into a lengthy, almost nonsensical rant.
The full interview may be seen below:
“[T]he fact is that I’ve tried to avoid the situation that we’re in now, because it was very divisive for the country,” her rant began. “This administration has done irreparable damage to our country. We must repair and we must heal. And to me … it’s about the arts.”
“I always believed that the arts would bring us together. When we can come together, listen, be inspired, laugh, cry, just enjoy and put our differences aside, that’s a very positive thing. And when we hear ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic,’ it arouses such emotion in all of us that we are united.”
After continuing to babble for 30 or so more seconds about Constitution Day and Benjamin Franklin, Pelosi finally started to address the actual question.
“On that very day last week, that Tuesday erupted this remarkable set of facts, on Constitution Day, and it was about the IG, Inspector General, at the office of the Director of National Intelligence saying that there was a whistleblower complaint,” she said.
“And then we learned that it was going to be blocked from being presented and that the DNI was not going to allow it to come forward.”
Last week, members of the media ran a report claiming via anonymous sources that a whistleblower within the Trump administration had filed a complaint with Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson about a “troubling” promise that the president had allegedly made to Zelensky during a phone call made over the summer.
Report on Trump’s ‘troubling promise’ to foreign leader completely empty, yet signals panic https://t.co/dgQwRIDn5r pic.twitter.com/wzXoY5VkAu
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 19, 2019
Congressional Democrats immediately pouncing, demanding full access to the complaint. However, the DNI ruled that the matter wasn’t of “urgent concern” and thus didn’t need congressional scrutiny. Reports have since emerged suggesting that the whistleblower may in fact by a biased political hack no different than disgraced former FBI special agent Peter Strzok.
As she neared the end of her reply, Pelosi finally dropped the Schiff comment.
“So let me just say this. I have more experience in intelligence than anybody in the Congress,” she said. “At least 25 years. I was a member of the committee. I was the top Democrat. I was the Adam Schiff. We didn’t have the majority, so I was a ranking member, but that made me a member of the gang of four years ago and then ex officio as leader and as speaker, so I have been there for the writing of the law.”
Pelosi did once serve as the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. What she neglected to mention Tuesday was that her tenure on the committee later became marred in controversy.
“Intelligence officials released documents Thursday saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, was briefed in September 2002 about the use of harsh interrogation tactics on al Qaeda suspects, seeming to contradict her repeated statements that she was never told the techniques were actually being used,” The Washington Post reported in mid-2009.
“The issue of what Pelosi knew and when she knew it has become a tussle on Capitol Hill. Republicans have accused her of knowing for years about the interrogation techniques and of objecting only when the tactics became public and anti-war activists protested.”
Though Pelosi refused to offer a candid answer to the interviewer’s otherwise simple question, hours later that afternoon she went on to launch a formal impeachment inquiry against the president.
The president responded by accusing Democrats of trying to prevent his reelection and protect lead Democrat 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden.
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