Pelosi On Dropping The “Devastating” Bribery Article: “I Am Not A Lawyer”

I was pleased to see that the Judiciary Committee dropped previous claims of bribery, extortion, campaign finance and obstruction of justice as the basis for impeachment. I testified that the repeated assurances on these allegations from members, legal analysts, and my fellow witnesses were well outside the definitions for these crimes. The Committee ultimately went forward with the only two articles that I viewed as legitimate while rejecting my arguments to wait to build a sufficient record for submission to the Senate. I have received considerable criticism for my long opposition to the bribery theory as unsustainable as an impeachable offense. Thus, I was interested in hearing from the two members who were most adamant in their past declarations that bribery was established: Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff. Speaker Pelosi has now responded and her answer is far from satisfying. Frankly, calling the evidence of bribery “devastating” is a lot like calling the Ukrainian call “perfect.” It can be dismissed as hyperbolic but Pelosi was declaring the expected basis for the impeachment of an American president.

As I mentioned in my testimony, after hearing only two witnesses, Speaker Pelosi declared witnesses offered “devastating” evidence that “corroborated” bribery. This view was developed further by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff who repeatedly returned to the definition of bribery. He also added the caveat that, even if this did not meet the legal definition of bribery, it might meet a prior definition under an uncharacteristically originalist view: “As the founders understood bribery, it was not as we understand it in law today. It was much broader. It connoted the breach of the public trust in a way where you’re offering official acts for some personal or political reason, not in the nation’s interest.”

Even before the hearing I warned that this theory of bribery would be as mistaken in the eighteenth century as it would be today. Yet, Speaker Pelosi continued to maintain that this was bribery — plain and simple. She was joined by a host of commentators who back up the claim that the evidence was now overwhelming. This position was also advanced by the Democratic witnesses who testified with me at the impeachment hearing.

When confronted on her earlier declaration, Pelosi simply declared that she is not a lawyer. However, that qualification never appeared in her prior declarations of impeachable bribery as Speaker of the House of Representatives. She spoke as the House Speaker and insisted that bribery was now a proven crime and impeachable act. I was curious how, after days of contemplation, the Speaker and others would address the glaring contradiction. The answer turned about to be effectively a shrug:

As with the host of legal analysts assuring viewers that this is clearly bribery under recognized definitions, Pelosi never qualified her repeated declarations to that effect. Saying that the “articles are what they are” hardly explains her prior statements or the questions of responsibility for making such declarations.

Frankly, the question was a rare occasion where Speaker Pelosi or anyone was confronted by past assurances of proven criminal conduct. Amazingly, President Donald Trump helped defuse the situation for the Speaker with another personal and unpresidential attack about her “teeth falling out.” That effectively ended further inquiry as the media turned to the latest controversial tweet.

53 thoughts on “Pelosi On Dropping The “Devastating” Bribery Article: “I Am Not A Lawyer””

    1. The gaslighting and lack of tolerance for dissenting views within the DNC already make it look like Jonestown.

      Just ask Jeff van Pelt, who the DNC ran in southern New Jersey as the only Democrat who could carry that Trump-supporting Congressional district. Of course, the DNC expected van Pelt to betray his constituents the way every othre soi-disant “moderate Democrat” in the House has after the mid-terms. Van Pelt didn’t do that, so the DNC turned on him.

      The electoral carnage, once it becoms clear what how unprincipled the DNC has been, will be impressive. The press has gone to the well of deceit far too many times for their words to carry any further weight. It’ll be the Reagan tems all over again – as the American people tell the press “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”.

  1. Discussing the mental meanderings of the articulate Pelosi Galore is always entertaining, but I would like to learn Prof. Turley’s view on Joe Biden’s claim of threatening the Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma (why not just stop the investigation?) and whether it rises to the level of extortion or not? And should Biden become the candidate should yet another friggin investigation of that be launched?

    1. And should Biden become the candidate should yet another friggin investigation of that be launched?

      Don,
      Are you suggesting it was previously investigated? Or lamenting that we’ll once again have a candidate for president under investigation?

  2. That’s right Nancy, you’re not a lawyer. You’re a political hack. Now go back to San Francisco and stay out of our lives.

  3. “Amazingly, President Donald Trump helped defuse the situation for the Speaker with another personal and unpresidential attack about her “teeth falling out.” That effectively ended further inquiry as the media turned to the latest controversial tweet.” -JT

    And that’s a wrap… Thanks, Jonathan.

    #Presidential. And it doesn’t reflect well on the Republican Party or the country.

  4. Pelosi On Dropping The “Devastating” Bribery Article: “I Am Not A Lawyer”

    – Prof. Turley
    __________________________________________________________

    If Comrade Pelosi were a “lawyer,” should would grasp immutably that her entire American welfare state is unconstitutional, understanding that Article 1. Section 8 denies any power of Congress to tax for individual welfare, providing the power to tax only for “…general Welfare…,” and that Article 1, Section 8 enumerates the power to regulate only the “value of money” and “commerce between nations, states and tribes, for the sole purpose of preventing any bias or favor by one jurisdiction over another – no other regulation being constitutional.

    It is axiomatic.

    Comrade Nancy Pelosi is distinctly not a lawyer.

  5. If she gave a basis for impeachment that turned out to be wrong, at the time she made it, then perhaps she is not qualified to impeach a President.

  6. Yet another false allegation against Trump to throw on the mountain.

    This impeachment is an abuse of power.

    The Democrats are obstructing the investigation of alleged criminal activity by their presidential candidate.

    1. Press release announced in 7 hours on Interfax.com.ua.

      “New Facts of International Corruption: Role of Oligarchs and Naftogaz Officials in Siphoning of Billions From Country under Guise of Biden and Financing of U.S. Presidential Candidate Clinton’s Campaign”

      The address is here:

      https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/video/630732.html

      The head line sounds interesting.

  7. What’s interesting about Pelosi is that her skill set appears to be limited to politicking within conventicles of elected officials, with a side-order of fundraising She was a protege of Phillip and Sala Burton, who sponsored her for consequential positions in the California Democratic Party over the period running from 1976 to 1985. When Sala Burton fell ill at the end of 1986, she from her deathbed anointed Pelosi her successor in Congress. The subsequent Democratic primary was the only competitive contest Nancy Pelosi has ever faced. NB, she was a housewife with a mess of kids when she got involved in politics ca. 1975, having observed her father and brother some (both having been Mayor of Baltimore). Long ago, she had a brief turn as an elementary schoolteacher. Her tertiary schooling was limited to a baccalaureate teaching certificate.

  8. Pelosi simply declared that she is not a lawyer.

    Since that is not a qualification required to be elected to congress, that is not a relevant excuse. Her comment does beg the question, what qualifications led her to speaker of the house? Is it because she’s a constitutionalist? Not if she can help it. She’s a political process expert.

    1. Darren Smith – she has lobbyists and donors write the laws which why she has to pass them to find out what is in them.

      1. That is exactly the case. That’s why I wrote “purportedly”. I remember many years ago a lobbyist telling me that the state politicians here almost never write original bills. The most they do is minor edits and changes. I naïvely at the time had difficulty accepting what he said but he was exactly right. They’re effectively nothing more than rubber stamps. The gullibility of many of them was striking. Sometimes he just walked a bill over to their office, B.S’ed. them for a few minutes, and then they would sign-on to the bill. We have an agency–Office of the Code Reviser–charged with converting the bills into a standardized and cross-referenced statute. Much of the work is performed there as well. The public, if it actually cared, would feel ripped off.

        1. interesting comment Darren.

          i can only speak to the gradual process of updating and changing property laws. the property laws are ancient and yet arcane., as legislation, they change slowly, usually just a little bit every year, and generally are carefully curated by the money powers to keep pace with their current concerns. this is just the way things are, there’s nothing inherently bad about that. sometimes it comes at the expense of the public but in ways that are very subtle and difficult to explain to outsiders.

          most of all there are committees of professors and so forth who make up what are called “Uniform Laws,” These account for MOST of the changes in private law, that is to say, the laws which mediate civil rights (including property rights just for example) between private people and entities, as opposed to public law, which concerns the functioning of government itself.

          now the only fireworks on property legislation comes when one industry butts heads with another. for example when Silicon Valley is out there pushing various sets of laws it wants in the state legislaturees, bypassing the usual “uniform laws’ gradual process. Well, Silicon Valley often finds resistance out here in flyover. But it has lots of money and hired hands to push tings. The other older money powers are slow to respond but get the message and there is a conflict. Then the sausage making is done. but generally that part happens above the heads of workaday lawyers and its mediated by powerful figures– perhaps, such as as Pelosi.

          So I would say their expertise is generally hidden, in terms of mediating between concealed loci of power and influence, and wining their advancements on the basis of previous successful track records of doing their thing.

          of course judicial branch will occasionally intervene and force changes to private law too. that’s a whole other ball of wax.

          a hybrid between the legislative updating process and the judicial, is the passing of rules, by agencies. I will stop before this becomes my most boring comment ever!~

      2. Paul – you went there.

        You know Obamacare references are like crack to me.

        Die, Obamacare and Common Core! Die! Ceterum censeo Obamacare delendo est.

        1. Karen S – they just lofted this big softball at me and I couldn’t resist. It was such an easy target/ 🙂 Sorry if I hurt your feefees.

          1. Oh heck no. You know how much I love to go on about Obamacare. 🙂 Like how it needs to die, cut off from all funding, alone. In the Rubʿ al-Khali desert. In August. Simultaneously, Common Core is polar bear scat in the Arctic Circle.

            My fantasies are nothing if not descriptive.

    2. Darren, thankfully the Constitution does not require a law degree to be a member of Congress. Do you advocate an amendment making it a requirement? You understand that there are literally hundreds of lawyers employed by the Congress and it’s various caucuses that review legislation before it is presented, let alone passed.

      Or maybe you consider our 250 year old existence as the United States a “disaster”.

        1. So Darren, are you in favor of dropping our representative democracy and adopting a meritocracy, monarchy, dictatorship, or some other form of government by elites?

          1. We have a system that allows self-serving incompetents the ability to govern a nation. That is a shortcoming of our system. Nearly every other professional occupation requires employees to have a reasonable level of aptitude. This is not the case in our political system. The only requirements are residency/citizenship, age of political majority, not being barred from holding office, a warm body, and the ability to con enough people to vote for one candidate over another. It takes more training to become a licensed cosmetologist than a senator. We demand that our doctors be properly trained but we foolishly elect politicians such as Hank Johnson who believe that overly populated islands will tip over and capsize. That is a failure of us and our system.

            1. We have a system that allows self-serving incompetents the ability to govern a nation. That is a shortcoming of our system.

              I agree Darren, but these incompetents do not get there without incompetent voters. The 17th amendment ensured both houses of congress would benefit from that shortcoming.

      1. you can’t just make up laws. just like you cant just make up engineering facts.

        if you want to put 800 horsepower into rubber on the road, it will take certain things in an internal combustion engine and a drive-train to accomplish that. wishful thinking is not enough

        there are aspects of legal matters that are purely engineering. most of the legislative review committee work that goes into things like security interests or real estate transaction matters which is done by lawyers is done by specialists who know a lot about the system, that is to say, the engineering, the money mechanics, the business of verifying facts, moving money and title around and so forth.

        It’s all about as interesting as soil acidity is for gardening, which is to say, it’s pretty boring if it’s not a problem, and if it is a problem, no amount of wishful thinking or yelling will matter, what you need is lime, etc. some things are technical and systems of laws are not exempt.

        in this case, bribery is a defined crime, that has a thousands of years pedigree, and Nancy and the Dems were painting with too broad a brush. no matter what the system of government, bribery is and must be a criminal statute, or there will be abuse, but it can’t be too broad, or then it becomes an occasion of abuse in itself.

        we see that Xi Jinpeng and his immediate circle are accused of taking out all his foes in the subordinate bureaucracy, by “anti corruption” measures. “Miles Kwok” says so, at least. Perhaps Kwok tells the truth. Perhaps there is a selective prosecution happening there on a massive scale. Usually, that’s easier to make happen in a system which has overly broad laws in the first place.

        So the “technicalities” of laws really do matter.

        1. You sound lie a vert bitter and hateful person. You must learn to control your unbridled emotions. One day you should make an attempt to engage your brain, before spewing such venom. You sound very much like someone who makes excuses for incompetence and stupidity, and seem very protective of those who hate President Trump as much as you do.

        2. In a few years, you’ll be of age to sit for the exams to obtain a place at the state police academy where you live. When you’ve aced those, completed your course at the academy, worked a street beat, and made your first promotion, you can start to ponder who is bright and who is not. Until then, you’re learning, not critiquing, you little nosepicker.

    3. IIRC it was when Obamacare was passed and some wag/reporter asked her where in the Constitution such a law was countenanced. She replied something along the lines she doesn’t worry about the Constitution.

  9. Are we going to talk about the fact that the constitution doesn’t even cover these two charges as impeachable offenses? This is nothing more than abusing the impeachment process for the hope of political gain. Direct evidence the Democrats are already trying to influence the outcome of the 2020 elections.

  10. Pelosi, Nadler, Liberal Media, all relish scorched Earth politics, demonstrated all too well by the Clinton Reign of Terror circa 1990s

    Enter Trump….

    and oh how they loathe him for him using THEIR PATENTED TACTICS

    Live by the sword, die by the sword. And Trump has a far bigger sword: Americans are with him and armed.

    1. Mr. Schulte,
      Maybe that’s why Schiff is the one who does the countless TV appearances; he’s the “telegenic” one.😁

      1. Anonymous – well, Nancy does have that nice bracelet she like to show off when she is pointing at reporters.

  11. He is right and for someone as wealthy as her she should get better dental work

    President Trump trolling Pelosi is deserved since the Schiff Show is beneath the name of a circus.

    Troll on!

    1. He’s right to make irrelevant comments that demean the dignity of his office and the veracity of our government? There are ways to handle disagreements. There are processes in place to prevent the abuse of power by one branch. Personal and pointless insults are hardly the way to proceed.

      1. The Democrats have been insulting Republicans since Nixon, Gerald Ford (golfing), Ronald Reagan (alzheimers), Nancy Reagan (just say no to drugs), Bush and Bush, Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, and now even children are free game like Barron Trump…

        Their entire strategy is based on insulting and disparaging their “enemy”…..ala Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals.

        Where were your complaints then?

        As for disparaging the office, Bill Clinton did that magnificently and the only ones who cared then, and we mocked exceedingly, were conservatives, so there is that as well

        IOW, to quote Eric Holder: when they go low, you go lower

        Take your complaints to Eric Holder.

        Good luck with that…hypocrite

  12. Her teeth fell out years ago when she had an encounter with a California Dreamer. It was on a winter day. She obtained dentures. And speaks like a horned tooth toad. That is why she will soon be on the road again for Christmas in California.

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