Bribery! Nets Approve of Pelosi’s New Impeachment Buzzword

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At a Thursday press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) essentially authorized the use of the word “bribery” to describe President Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine. The broadcast networks gushed about her use of the word and showed their approval by roundly noting that bribery was an impeachable offense explicitly laid out in the Constitution.

“Tonight, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now using the word bribery, and what this might signal. Pelosi explicitly accusing President Trump of bribery and what she heard in the first televised hearings, saying the cover-up, quote, ‘makes what Nixon did look almost small,’” touted sensationalist anchor David Muir during ABC’s World News Tonight.

Right at the top of her ABC report, senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce touted Pelosi for “declaring President Trump committed bribery.” She followed up by adding how it was a “new and explicit allegation, and a major step for the Speaker because bribery is in the Constitution as an impeachable offense.”

Over on the CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell noted that Pelosi claimed Democrats had yet to make up their minds on impeachment (yeah sure), “but she did publicly accuse him of bribery. And that word is significant.

 

 

CBS chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes touted how it was the “first time” Pelosi had finally “used a term that has been gaining steam in her party.” Then came back-to-back soundbites of Democrats accusing Trump of bribery:

DANIEL GOLDMAN (staffer to Rep. Adam Schiff): Bribery.

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): Extortion and bribery.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Bribe an ally.

“Article II of the Constitution says a president can be removed from office for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” Cordes explained.

For their part, NBC Nightly News framed it as a general move by Democrats writ large. “Tonight, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has delivered her own forceful take on the first public testimony in the House impeachment investigation, as Democrats switched to new language to describe their accusations,” announced anchor Lester Holt.

White House correspondent Peter Alexander stated that Democrats were “recasting their case in plain English” by “largely dropping the phrase ‘quid pro quo’ to describe that July phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s leader…” “Pelosi now using the term bribery, that's mentioned in the Constitution as an impeachable offense,” he added.

Although, Alexander did mention the Republican argument that “aid was eventually delivered without Ukraine launching the investigations President Trump requested.”

Perhaps “bribery” should be added to the list of shared talking points between the media and Democratic Party.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
November 14, 2019
6:38:17 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: And we move on tonight. There are major new developments in the impeachment showdown. Tonight, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now using the word bribery, and what this might signal. Pelosi explicitly accusing President Trump of bribery and what she heard in the first televised hearings, saying the cover-up, quote, “makes what Nixon did look almost small.” And tonight, this comes amid news a second person overheard the President on a second phone call. Mary Bruce on the Hill tonight with late reporting.

[Cuts to video]

MARY BRUCE: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tonight, declaring President Trump committed bribery, a new and explicit allegation, and a major step for the Speaker because bribery is in the constitution as an impeachable offense.

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The bride is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That's bribery.

BRUCE: Pelosi saying that what Trump did is worse than what forced Richard Nixon out of office.

PELOSI: The cover-up makes what Nixon did look almost small.

(…)

 

CBS Evening News
November 14, 2019
6:37:35 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Heading into the next round of televised impeachment hearings, tonight, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats have not yet made a decision on whether to impeach President Trump, but she did publicly accuse him of bribery. And that word is significant. There’s also news tonight that more ears were listening in on a phone call that not only ties the President to a pressure campaign in Ukraine, but it's also prompting concerns of a security breach. Nancy Cordes reports from Capitol Hill.

[Cuts to video]

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Quid pro quo. Bribery.

NANCY CORDES: For the first time today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used a term that has been gaining steam in her party.

DANIEL GOLDMAN (staffer to Rep. Adam Schiff): Bribery.

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): Extortion and bribery.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Bribe an ally.

CORDES: Article II of the Constitution says a president can be removed from office for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

That's a very serious charge. What makes this a case of bribery?

PELOSI: The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation.

CORDES: Could we be looking at an article of impeachment having to do with bribery?

PELOSI: I don’t know that. We haven't even made a decision to impeach.

(…)

 

NBC Nightly News
November 14, 2019
7:05:44 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Tonight, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has delivered her own forceful take on the first public testimony in the House impeachment investigation, as Democrats switched to new language to describe their accusations. Peter Alexander has more.

[Cuts to video]

PETER ALEXANDER: 24 hours after that first public impeachment hearing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling testimony from two top career diplomats “devastating” and leveling this new charge against the President.

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): What is -- the President has admitted to and said it's perfect, I said it’s perfectly wrong. It's bribery.

ALEXANDER: Democrats recasting their case in plain English, largely dropping the phrase “quid pro quo” to describe that July phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s leader, where the President asked for investigations of the Bidens and the 2016 election. Pelosi now using the term bribery, that's mentioned in the Constitution as an impeachable offense.

PELOSI: The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That's bribery.

ALEXANDER: But Republicans emphasize the aid was eventually delivered without Ukraine launching the investigations President Trump requested.

(…)

NB Daily Events Trump Impeachment Conspiracy Theories Labeling Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Mary Bruce David Muir Norah O'Donnell Nancy Cordes Lester Holt Peter Alexander Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi

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