On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was criticized for handing out commemorative pens to celebrate the signing of articles of impeachment against President Trump, a gesture characterized as “weird” and “jarring” by many commentators.
CNN correspondent Dana Bash said that Nancy Pelosi had previously “bent over backward” to emphasize the gravity of the impeachment proceedings.
“We’re used to seeing signing ceremonies, handing out pens at moments of celebration, when a president is signing legislation. Even sometimes, on a rare occasion but it has happened, when the House sends over a landmark piece of legislation,” Bash said.
“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, ‘This is somber. This is not a time for a celebration,’” she added.
CNN Reporter Nia-Malika Henderson called the signing “jarring.”
Political commentator Liam Donovan suggested the House Speaker’s actions were “weird” and “awkard.”
Nancy Pelosi used a dozen pens to sign, at a desk bearing a placard reading #DefendOurDemocracy. Afterward, Pelosi handed pens to the impeachment managers and committee chairs involved in the investigation.
“It makes a funny signature,” Pelosi said.
Reflecting the deep partisan divide, the House vote to impeach President Trump was nearly along party lines. Many of his fellow Republicans in the Senate have made clear they view the impeachment as a political stunt by the Dems as President Trump seeks re-election in the November election.
Back in December, Nancy Pelosi instructed members of the Democratic party to refrain from cheering following an impeachment vote against President Trump and asked them to maintain a “somber” tone.