New Jersey Democrats gave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi an enthusiastic welcome at the Democratic State Committee Convention Friday.
“We should all take pride in the Democratic party,” Pelosi told the crowd the state party estimated to be over 2,000. “It has been the source of more new ideas, more creative leadership, more challenges to the conscience of America than any organization that you can name, and so I thank all of you who are part of the New Jersey Democratic Party.”
The speaker spent much of her roughly 18-minute-long speech praising New Jersey elected officials, including the state’s congressional delegation, Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leadership.
Another significant slice of the wide-ranging speech was devoted to praising Democratic policy priorities, including those on guns and healthcare, two issues that have emerged as the core of the Democratic presidential primary.
“Mitch McConnell says he’s the grim reaper,” Pelosi said. “We said that’s a curious name for yourself, however, these bills are alive and well in the public, and we will make them too hot for you to handle.”
Towards the end of her speech, Pelosi turned toward the topic undoubtedly on the minds of the Democrats in the room — impeachment.
On Wednesday, the White House released a memo showing President Donald Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump told Zelensky, according to the memo. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you ·can look into it.”
The memo is not a transcript and does not reflect a verbatim account of the phone call, though it nonetheless confirms media reports published over the past week that said Trump sought to push a foreign country to investigate a political opponent.
Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump over the incident Tuesday.
“Our founders would never have thought that anyone would be so abusive,” Pelosi said. “They knew that people might try to take advantage of this and that in the White House, but never so abusive of the system in … so they always thought that if you don’t have checks and balances, you have a Republic.”
It’s unclear what the impeachment inquiry will uncover, nor is it clear whether what it does uncover will be enough to force Republican senators that have so far proven resistant to the idea to vote against Trump.
“This election that is coming up in 13 months and two weeks, I think it is — just 13 months, is a very crucial one for our country, for our values, for America,” Pelosi said.