President Donald Trump wasn’t acquitted of the impeachment charges against him because he didn’t have a proper trial with witnesses, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Pelosi said the president is “not vindicated” despite Republican senators voting against removing Trump from office.
“You can’t have an acquittal unless you have a trial and you can’t have a trial without witnesses and documents,” Pelosi told Amanpour. “So he can say he was acquitted, and the headlines can say acquitted but he’s impeached forever, branded with that and not vindicated.”
The White House has been contacted for comment.
Pelosi also slammed Republican senators for not having the “courage” to vote guilty on the impeachment charges against Trump, despite some acknowledging that the president’s actions on Ukraine weren’t right.
But she praised Mitt Romney, the sole Republican senator who voted to convict on one of two articles of impeachment. “God bless him,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi also defended her decision to rip up her copy of Trump’s State of the Union speech moments after his address ended last Tuesday.
Democrats celebrated the viral moment, but Republicans accused her of metaphorically “ripping up” Trump’s accomplishments and guests.
Pelosi told CNN that it “wasn’t a planned thing,” but she decided to do something to “get attention” after realizing during the address that “almost every page had something in it that was objectionable.”
She said: “One of my disappointments is the fact that with all that we have done legislatively, whether it’s equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, gun violence protection, issues that relate to our children, the list goes on.
“We had very little press on it. It seems if you want to get press, you have to get attention. I thought, well, let’s get attention on the fact that what he said here today was not true.”
Immediately after the State of the Union, Pelosi said that she tore up the speech “because it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative” and branded it “a manifesto of mistruths.”
The White House tweeted a response to the incident, criticizing Pelosi’s actions. “Speaker Pelosi just ripped up: One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. The survival of a child born at 21 weeks. The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller. A service member’s reunion with his family. That’s her legacy,” the White House said.