Politics

We Know Where Pelosi And Democrats Stand On Impeachment — Here’s What They Said About It In 1998

Photo by Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Capitol Hill Reporter

A majority of Democrats in Congress are pushing to impeach President Donald Trump, however, many who were in office during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment process in 1998 had a very different outlook on impeaching a sitting president.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi publicly announced on Sept. 24, “Today I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.” (RELATED: Nancy Pelosi Comes Out In Favor Of Impeachment)

Despite Pelosi’s early reluctance to push for impeachment, there are currently 226 Democrats who support impeachment or an impeachment inquiry, compared to the 10 Democrats who don’t support impeachment or impeachment inquiry yet, according to the New York Times.

Pelosi, who has served in Congress since 1987, fully opposed Clinton’s impeachment and for over one year was against impeaching Trump, until news broke that he asked the President of Ukraine to investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden, on a phone call.

“Today the Republican majority is not judging the president with fairness, but impeaching him with a vengeance,” then-House Minority Leader Pelosi said on the House floor in December of 1998, strongly advocating against impeaching Clinton.

“In the investigation of the president, fundamental principles which Americans hold dear, fairness, privacy, checks and balances, have been seriously violated and why? Because we are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton … Until the Republicans free themselves of that hatred, our country will suffer,” Pelosi continued.

Many of Pelosi’s Democratic colleagues previously pushed for impeaching Trump, including Democratic Texas Rep. Al Green, who broke with Pelosi when he vowed to force a vote to impeach Trump in late March. Green, who previously had several bills to impeach Trump overwhelmingly rejected by the House of Representatives, called for a third impeachment vote. Pelosi said impeachment was “just not worth it” in a March interview.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, another Democrat in Congress during Clinton’s impeachment proceedings, said in 1998 that impeaching the President of the United States is an undoing of a National Election, despite his continued calls to impeach Trump. (RELATED: 21 Years Ago, Nadler Sang A Very Different Tune On Impeachment)

In a speech from 1998, Nadler spoke about how impeachment would be bad for the U.S., as it would be telling Americans that the people’s vote does not count and that the election “must be set aside.” However, Nadler said on Sept. 16 that Trump should be impeached in order “to vindicate the Constitution,” before Pelosi was in favor of impeachment.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler departs an observance and campus wide moment of silence for the National Day of Service and Remembrance honoring victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on Capitol Hill on September 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Here is a list of the 49 Democrats still in Congress who voted against impeaching Clinton, but are in favor of impeaching Trump:

  • California Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren
  • Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer
  • Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur
  • Indiana Democratic Rep. Peter Visclosky
  • Oregon Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio
  • Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis
  • California House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • New Jersey Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone
  • New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel
  • New York Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey
  • Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Richard Neal
  • New York Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano
  • North Carolina Democratic Rep. David Price
  • Connecticut Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro
  • Minnesota Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson
  • California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters
  • New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler
  • Georgia Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop
  • South Carolina Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn
  • California Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo
  • Florida Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings
  • Texas Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
  • New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney
  • California Democratic Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard
  • Illinois Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush
  • Virginia Democratic Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott
  • New York Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez
  • Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson
  • Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett
  • Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Michael Doyle
  • Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
  • Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings
  • Oregon Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer
  • Illinois Democratic Rep. Danny Davis
  • Colorado Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette
  • Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Ron Kind
  • Massachusetts Democratic Rep. James McGovern
  • Vermont Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • New Jersey Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell
  • California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman
  • California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee
  • Washington Democratic Rep. Adam Smith
  • New York Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks
  • Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown
  • Maryland Democratic Sen. Benjamin Cardin
  • Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey
  • New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez
  • New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer
  • Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow

Pelosi will need to bring the articles of impeachment to the House floor for a vote in order to move forward with the impeachment process. If the House passes the articles of impeachment, the Republican-controlled Senate would then likely vote against it.

There are currently six House committees investigating Trump for what they believe are impeachable offenses. The House ended up impeaching Clinton on December 19, 1998, for charges of lying under oath and obstruction of justice.