A coalition of conservative groups has filed an ethics complaint against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif., alleging she has “hypocritically usurped” the authority of the president and “weaponized” impeachment proceedings.
“In launching her ‘official’ impeachment inquiry without benefit of a vote of the full House of Representatives and without indicating anything remotely qualifying as ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ that is the subject of the inquiry, Speaker Pelosi has weaponized impeachment,” reads the complaint, led by Tea Party Patriots Action’s Jenny Beth Martin and signed by 40 different groups.
The complaint adds that Thursday’s scheduled vote on a resolution codifying the impeachment inquiry is “inadequate at this stage” and says Pelosi’s “one-person decision” is in violation of historical precedent. In previous cases, the House has launched an official impeachment inquiry into a president by holding a vote of all the members.
“If she now understands that before going any further, the full House of Representatives must make its impeachment inquiry legitimate by the casting of votes, she is tacitly admitting that what came before is illegitimate,” the complaint states. “Consequently, all ‘evidence’ gleaned during this portion of the ‘investigation’ must be discarded for the sake of fairness.”
The letter alleged there was no outcry from Pelosi when former Vice President Joe Biden “bragged that he had leveraged more than a billion dollars in U.S. assistance to Ukraine to achieve [a] desired policy end, threatening Ukrainian government officials that he would deny them U.S. assistance if they did not remove the prosecutor general within six hours.”
The letter also emphasized the authority of the executive branch over foreign and national security policy. “Congress’ ability to influence the conduct of U.S. foreign and national security policy is wholly dependent on its power of persuasion,” reads the complaint, which calls on the Office of Congressional Ethics to launch an inquiry into Speaker Pelosi’s “misconduct.”
Republicans and some moderate Democrats have expressed concern over impeachment proceedings.
Earlier Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R.-Fla., filed an ethics complaint against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Gaetz accused Schiff of “grossly misrepresenting the content” of President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky during a hearing last month
A coalition of conservative groups has filed an ethics complaint against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claiming that she has usurped authority from the executive branch and “weaponized” the impeachment process.
In a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics, 40 conservative groups led by Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots Action wrote to the board’s chairman, David Skaggs, arguing that Pelosi was carrying out an unconstitutional, partisan investigation.
The letter also argued that a vote scheduled for Thursday on a House resolution laying out the process and some procedures for impeachment was “insufficient” to dispel their worries about a partisan investigation.
“Speaker Pelosi’s conduct is an encroachment across the constitutionally-mandated separation of powers. She has no business examining or investigating the president’s legitimate exercise of his authority to determine the foreign and national security policy of the United States,” the complaint stated.
“In launching her ‘official’ impeachment inquiry without benefit of a vote of the full House of Representatives and without indicating anything remotely qualifying as ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ that is the subject of the inquiry, Speaker Pelosi has weaponized impeachment,” the complaint continued.
“She and her Democratic colleagues are using the impeachment process as a weapon of partisan political battle, rather than as the means to defend the Constitution our Framers meant it to be,” the complaint added.
In a statement to The Hill, Martin said that “the genie cannot be put back into the bottle” after Democrats began the impeachment inquiry without a formal House vote.
“Speaker Pelosi’s latest impeachment gambit — at last, a vote of the full House! — is merely a continuation of her ongoing roughshod-running,” said Martin.
“The genie cannot be put back in the bottle. All that ‘evidence’ that has been gathered before the casting of a single vote is tainted by the corrupt, secret process in which it was gathered. It is poisoned, and must be discarded for the sake of fairness,” Martin added.
Pelosi’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
Allies of President Trump have argued that the impeachment process is being conducted in an insufficiently bipartisan manner as Democrats bring in a steady stream of witnesses to testify about pressure from Trump on Ukraine to launch investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.