(CNSNews.com) -- Although public hearings on the impeachment of President Trump started only yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said today that the president's actions made those of President Richard Nixon seem "almost small.” She added that impeachment is done with a “heavy heart,” the process is “very powerful.”
At a Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday, Pelosi said, “This is something we do with a heavy heart. This is very prayerful. Because impeaching is a divisive thing in our country.”
“By the way, what President Trump has done on the record in terms of acting to advantage his foreign power to help him in his own election, and the obstruction of information about the cover-up, makes what Nixon did almost small,” Pelosi said. “But again, an inquiry is an inquiry.”
President Richard Nixon faced impeachment in 1974 and decided to resign from office in August of that year.
Pelosi also defended Congress’ position of having the whistleblower remain anonymous, and she challenged the position of Republicans that the witnesses in this case do not have first-hand knowledge of what occurred on a July 25 telephone conversation between Trump and the new president of Ukraine.
“Don’t fall into the second-hand stuff, really?” Pelosi said. “That’s such a fraudulent proposition put forth by the Republicans. That is such a fraudulent proposition. And they know it. That’s why they are talking about process rather than the substance of what we have heard.”
On the other hand, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) repeated the GOP position that the impeachment hearing held on Nov. 13 did not provide the country with “any new information.”
“There is nothing compelling, there is nothing overwhelming, and the only bipartisan vote we had was to end impeachment,” McCarthy said.
When asked about the credibility of requesting first-hand information while the White House is “blocking first-hand information witnesses,” McCarthy pointed to the July 25 telephone transcript and said that it was first-hand information.
“It is not something someone thought they heard,” McCarthy said. “It is not something someone was told fourth-hand. We actually have the two people on the phone call.”
McCarthy added that he is “not averse” to hearing from other witnesses, but also denounced House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) as unfit to oversee the impeachment hearings because the whistleblower allegedly had met with his staff and Schiff had failed to disclose that information to the public. Schiff, however, denies these accusations.
“Do you think Adam Schiff is lying” about not knowing the whistleblower’s identity? a reporter asked McCarthy.
“Yes,” said McCarthy, "and I don’t think this is the first time he has lied to us either.”
“He has lied to the American public three different times,” McCarthy said. “And you still put him in charge. If the whistleblower had met with his staff, they are fact witnesses.”