In the final days leading up to the Louisiana governor's election this Saturday, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, who is one of two main Republicans vying to unseat Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, is calling for the expulsion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, amid her decision to begin an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The congressman from Alto authored a resolution Tuesday stating that Pelosi be expelled, citing a clause of the U.S. Constitution that states each house of Congress "may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member."
"Nancy Pelosi's vicious crusade against our lawfully-elected President is nothing more than a politically-motivated witch hunt and it must be stopped," Abraham said in a statement. "She has disgraced the people's House and weaponized the Speaker's gavel for her party’s political gain. House Democrats spent nearly three years obsessed with election meddling only to dwarf any such efforts with their own deceitful plan to nullify the 2016 election and prevent President Trump from winning in 2020."
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Democrats have controlled the House of Representatives since the 2018 midterm elections.
According to the U.S. Senate's website, the Senate has expelled only 15 members total since 1789, 14 of which supported the Confederacy during the Civil War. Five members have been expelled from the House.
Pelosi has defended the impeachment investigation.
"The actions taken by the President over the past two weeks show a defiance of our Founders, with a total disregard for their wisdom and the U.S. Constitution," she told reporters Tuesday. "The President will be held accountable. When it comes to impeachment, it is just about the facts and the Constitution."
In attack ads against Abraham in the governor's race targeted at Republican voters, opponents have tried to frame him as voting with Pelosi, although often on bipartisan bills.
Over the summer, he posted a Facebook video touting a vote against what he called a "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi-Democrat bill."
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The move came as news of a poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy between Oct. 1-4 found Abraham in third place in the governor's race, behind incumbent Edwards, who received 45% of support, and businessman Eddie Rispone, with 22%. Abraham had 17% of support. The poll, which was commissioned by Gray Television, has a margin of error of 4%.
Rispone, who has criticized Abraham for calling for Trump to step aside in 2016 after a recording revealed lewd comments he had made about women, took the latest Abraham maneuver as another chance to swipe at his opponent.
"Congressman Abraham might be the only person in America who has called on both Trump and Pelosi to step aside at different times," Rispone said. "But I agree, Pelosi should be expelled. Glad Ralph got it right this time.”
Elizabeth Crisp contributed to this report.