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