Nancy Pelosi is getting some heat after passing out dozens of souvenir pens bearing her name that she used to sign impeachment articles and a resolution naming House managers of the upcoming impeachment trial. On Wednesday, the Speaker of the House sent the two impeachment articles against President Donald Trump to the Senate for trial. During the signing ceremony, aides handed Pelosi dozens of personalized pens that she used to endorse both the articles and a separate resolution appointing lawmakers as the "managers" or prosecutors for the trial.
After the ceremony, Pelosi began handing out each pen she used to those around her to be kept as momentos.
The move generated a lot of controversy on Twitter, where White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham wrote that Pelosi was "so somber as she gave them away to people like prizes."
Sen. Mitch McConnell: "The Speaker distributed souvenir pens, souvenir pens to her own colleagues emblazoned with her golden signature that literally came in on silver platters. The pens literally came in on silver platters. Golden pens on silver platters." pic.twitter.com/PPHfft0dSW— The Hill (@thehill) January 16, 2020
Later, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Pelosi's pens. "The Speaker distributed souvenir pens, souvenir pens to her own colleagues emblazoned with her golden signature that literally came in on silver platter. The pens literally came in on silver platters," he said. "Golden pens on silver platters."
"It was a transparently partisan performance from beginning to end," McConnell said.
Plenty of Twitter users shared angry reactions to the move.
The souvenir pens 🖊 really pissed me off!!!! 😡 pic.twitter.com/dB6nX0W7Wr— Jody wicker (@JodyWicker) January 15, 2020
CNN host Dana Bash joined in on the criticism, asserting that it distracted from what was supposed to be a solemn and historic ceremony.
"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 celebration,'" Bash said.
"Understandable — this is history and the people involved want to mark the moment — but I didn't expect to see that," she said.
At Wednesday's ceremony, Pelosi announced the seven House Democrats who will be prosecuting the impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate: Reps. Adam Schiff of California; Jerry Nadler of New York; Hakeem Jeffries of New York; Jason Crow of Colorado; Zoe Lofgren of California; Val Demings of Florida; and Sylvia Garcia of Texas.
"This is about the Constitution of the United States and it's important for the president to know and Putin to know that American voters — voters in America — should decide who our president is," Pelosi said at the time.0comments
The impeachment trial is set to begin on Tuesday; it's not yet clear if witnesses will be called.
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty