Pelosi: Constant talk of impeachment hurts U.S. standing abroad


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 10. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that more than a decade of impeachment talk — spanning three presidencies — has hurt the United States' standing abroad.

"It's a cost to our reputation in the world that we get a new president, and we'll find a reason to impeach him," Pelosi said during her weekly news briefing with congressional reporters.

Pelosi compared the current calls from some Republicans for the impeachment of President Obama to a similar effort among Democrats to pursue the impeachment of President George W. Bush in 2006 and 2007 that she squelched while House majority leader.

"I did not want to go down that path because of what it would mean for the American people," Pelosi said. "It's not about impeaching the president, it's about  putting the country through that."

Pelosi also said that the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, which came after he lied under oath about having a sexual affair with a White House intern, was mishandled and harmful to the country.

"I thought what the Republicans did to President Clinton was shameful, irresponsible and wrong for the country, and what he did was stupid, but it had nothing to do with public policy and his office — his responsibility and his office."

Her comments come as some conservatives have increased calls for Obama's impeachment over a number of complaints from the right about his use of executive powers and actions.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who is suing Obama to curb the president's use of executive power, said Wednesday that he disagrees with the calls for impeachment.

Wesley Lowery is a national reporter covering law enforcement and justice for the Washington Post. He previously covered Congress and national politics.

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