Accuracy in Media

There are all kinds of reasons being offered for why Nancy Pelosi announced Monday she does not support impeaching President Donald Trump even though she thinks he is unfit for the country’s highest office.

It will remove a tough vote for new Democrats in Trump-leaning districts, according to some. It won’t work anyway, others have said.

It is “so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t we should go down that path,” Pelosi herself said. “He’s just not worth it.”

Many of the stories focused on insults the Speaker threw at President Trump during her interview with the Washington Post magazine. In particular, the Post’s Joe Heim asked: “You said earlier you don’t feel it’s worth it to pursue impeachment. Do you believe he’s fit to be president?”

Pelosi responded: “Are we talking ethically? Intellectually? Politically? What are we talking here?

“All,” Heim said.

“All of the above. No. No, I don’t think he is,” Pelosi said. “I mean, ethically unfit. Intellectually unfit. Curiosity-wise unfit. No, I don’t think he’s fit to be president of the United States. And that’s up to us to make the contrast to show that this president – while he be appealing to you on your insecurity and therefore your xenophobia, whether it’s globalization or immigrants – is fighting clean air for your children to breathe, clean water for them to drink, food safety, every good thing that we should be doing that people can’t do for themselves.”

They also noted that this is not exactly news, even though Pelosi actually said when she gave the quote, “I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to a press person before.”

CNN’s Alex Rogers wrote: “Pelosi’s comments published Monday are perhaps her strongest yet against the issue, but the speaker has signaled for months her resistance to pushing for impeachment.”

Stories, such as “Impeaching Trump is ‘Not Worth It,’ Nancy Pelosi Says, by Nicholas Fandos in the New York Times, also pointed out House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has said he would not want to pursue impeachment unless he had “substantial Republican support” and that “barring a startling new revelation of wrongdoing, Democrats are better off trying to beat Mr. Trump at the polls in 2020 than going down the impeachment path.”

A failed attempt to remove Trump through impeachment, Fandos wrote, “would only embolden the president’s staunchest supporters and could improve his odds of re-election.”

Instead, the policy will be to bury the president in congressional investigations, such as the probe begun by Nadler last week when he sent letters to 81 different people and organizations requesting information – most of it already in the hands of special counsel Robert Mueller – about Trump’s business dealings and other matters.

Rather than ignore the obvious – which is Democrats have backed off impeachment because they have come to realize evidence does not support it – Fandos and others sought to keep hope alive.

“At least two wild cards remain: federal prosecutors in New York who are scrutinizing Mr. Trump’s business and inaugural committee, and Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and whether the president obstructed justice. Mr. Mueller is believed to be nearing the end of his investigation,” Fandos wrote.

NBC News held out hope Pelosi would change her mind. “This might be the best political decision for Democrats heading into 2020,” wrote Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann in their Meet the Press daily blog.

“It changes the conversation away from impeachment, gives at-risk Dems a shield when asked the I-word question and places the burden on Republicans (if Trump’s getting impeached, it will take GOP votes to do it). But is it the right decision for history, especially if you believe the president of the United States has committed crimes before we even get to the Mueller report?”

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