White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham slammed Pelosi for the bizarre move, writing on Twitter, “Nancy Pelosi’s souvenir pens served up on silver platters to sign the sham articles of impeachment…She was so somber as she gave them away to people like prizes.”
Nancy Pelosi’s souvenir pens served up on silver platters to sign the sham articles of impeachment…She was so somber as she gave them away to people like prizes. https://t.co/RMOiNeoMu0
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) January 15, 2020
Before the signing Wednesday, aides set out two small trays containing more than two dozen black pens emblazoned with Pelosi’s signature. She entered the room and sat at a table with the documents and pens before her. House prosecutors and the committee chairmen who had worked on Trump’s impeachment were standing around her. Pelosi picked up each pen, signed a bit, and handed each one to a lawmaker. Sometimes, she was smiling.
The move was so strange, even CNN criticized it, calling Pelosi’s actions “jarring” and “unusual” given the supposedly serious nature of the signing.
CNN’s Dana Bash said, “We are used to seeing signing ceremonies–handing out pens–at moments of celebration, when a president is signing legislation, when even sometimes, on a rare occasion, but it has happened when the House sends over a landmark piece of legislation. It was unusual to see that kind of ceremony and handing out the pens and smiling for a picture in this kind of situation where the House Speaker has bent over backwards to say publicly and privately that this is somber and no time for celebration.”
“Understandably it is history and people want to mark the moment,” Bash said, “But I did not expect to see it.”
CNN reporter Nia-Malika Henderson agreed with Bash, and called the move, “jarring.”
The Hill points out that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arranged for House managers to meet with the Senate at noon today to present the articles of impeachment and they are expected to be read aloud from the floor.
Chief Justice John Roberts will be sworn in to preside over the Senate trial at 2:00 p.m. ET today. He will then swear in all 100 senators who will be impeachment jurors during the trial.