Page 13

03.12.2019 • Tuesday • M 1


sT. LOuIs POsT-dIsPaTCH • A13

Pelosi says impeaching Trump ‘just not worth it’ Thinking has shifted since Russia report may be inconclusive BY MARY CLARE JALONICK AND LISA MASCARO associated Press

WA S H I N G T O N • Ho u se Speaker Nancy Pelosi is setting a high bar for impeachment of President Donald Trump, saying he is “just not worth it” even as some on her left flank clamor to start proceedings. Pelosi said in an interview with The Washington Post that “I’m not for impeachment” of Trump. “Unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country,” she said. While she has made similar comments before, Pelosi is making clear to her caucus and to voters that Democrats will not move forward quickly with trying to remove Trump from office. And it’s a departure from her previous comments that Democrats are waiting on special counsel Robert Mueller to lay out findings from his Russia investigation before considering impeachment. That thinking among Democrats has shifted, in part because of expectations that Mueller’s report will not be decisive. Instead, House Democrats are pursuing their own broad, highprofile investigations that will


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks this month in Washington. The Democrat has set a high bar for impeachment of the president.

keep the focus on Trump’s business dealings and relationship with Russia, exerting congressional oversight without having to broach the I-word. Still, Pelosi’s comments are certain to stoke a stubborn tension with those who believe impeachment proceedings should have begun on day one of the new Congress. Some freshman Democrats who hail from solidly liberal districts haven’t shied away from the subject — Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib used a vulgarity in calling for Trump’s impeachment the day she was sworn in. Billionaire activist Tom Steyer, who is bankrolling a campaign pushing for Trump’s impeachment, shot back at Pelosi on Monday: “Speaker Pe-

losi thinks ‘he’s just not worth it?’ Well, is defending our legal system ‘worth it?’ Is holding the president accountable for his crimes and cover-ups ‘worth it?’ Is doing what’s right ‘worth it?’ Or shall America just stop fighting for our principles and do what’s politically convenient?” Neil Sroka of the liberal advocacy group Democracy for America said Pelosi’s comments were “a little like an oncologist taking chemotherapy off the table before she’s even got your test results back.” Other lawmakers who have called for impeachment looked at Pelosi’s comments more practically. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., who filed articles of impeachment against Trump on

the first day of the new Congress in January, acknowledged that there is not yet public support for impeachment, but noted that Pelosi “didn’t say ‘I am against it if the public is clamoring for it.’” Sherman said that the multiple Democratic investigations of Trump might be a substitute for impeachment, “it’s also possible it will be a prelude.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said “I agree” in response to Pelosi’s words. Sanders added of impeachment, “I don’t think it should have ever been on the table.” Pelosi has long resisted calls to impeach the president, saying it’s a “divisive” issue that should only be broached with “great care.” She refused calls when she first held the speaker’s gavel, in 2007, to start impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush. Having been a member of Congress during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, she saw the way the public turned on Republicans and helped Clinton win a second term. Heading into the midterm elections, she discouraged candidates from talking up impeachment, preferring to stick to the kitchen table issues that she believes most resonate with voters. Pelosi often said the House should not pursue impeachment for political reasons, but it shouldn’t not pursue for political reasons. Rather, she says, the investigations need to take their course and impeachment, if warranted, will be clear.

Body of girl found in duffel bag is ID’d BY AMANDA LEE MYERS AND REED SAXON associated Press

LOS ANGELES • Investigators have identified a Los Angelesarea girl found dead in a duffel bag along a suburban equestrian trail, and two people have been detained in connection with the case. The coroner’s office determined t h e g i rl wa s 9-year-old Trinity Love Jones and ruled her death a homicide, the Los Trinity Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said late Sunday. The department has declined to say how Trinity was killed and a department spokeswoman on Monday declined to identify the people who have been detained. They’re considered persons of interest. The department plans to release additional details later in the week. On March 5, a park worker found Trinity’s body partially protruding from a duffel bag at the bottom of an embankment in Hacienda Heights, just southeast of Los Angeles. Investigators believe her body was there less than 48 hours. A police sketch of Trinity released to help identify who she was showed her wearing what she had on when her body was found: a pink shirt that read, “Future Princess Hero.” “It’s a sad day for the depart-


Dozens of tributes are seen Monday at a large memorial to Trinity Love Jones, a 9-year-old girl whose body was found in a duffel bag along a suburban Los Angeles equestrian trail.

ment, for the community, and we’re going to do our best” to solve the case, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said last week. A man who identified himself as Trinity’s father told KTLA-TV at a memorial for his daughter that she was full of life and joy and that he’s in shock over her death. “Words can’t explain what I’m feeling right now,” Antonio Jones said. “I just want answers. I just want justice.” He declined to discuss details

about the case or Trinity’s living situation. A GoFundMe page created by Trinity’s uncle describes her as “a very loving and caring little girl.” “She had a great imagination ... so much so whenever she would wear a pretty dress, she would call herself a princess,” according to the post. “She didn’t deserve to be tossed out like trash.” Meanwhile a large memorial near where Trinity’s body was

found continued to grow Monday, with people stopping by to add Disney balloons, teddy bears, flowers and photos of the bright-eyed girl. Signs read, “Justice for Trinity,” and “Rest in Heaven, Princess.” Cherie Kiyomura, of Whittier, visited the memorial with her son Bishop, 3, on Monday to pay her respects, though she didn’t know Trinity or her family. “This has really hit home,” she said. “No child should ever be left this way.”

Democrats see symbolism in Milwaukee, their convention pick BY BILL BARROW, SCOTT BAUER AND IVAN MORENO associated Press

MILWAUKEE • Milwaukee will

host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, party leaders announced Monday, highlighting the battleground state of Wisconsin that helped elect President Donald Trump and now will launch an opponent who could oust him. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez chose Milwaukee over Houston and Miami after deliberations lingered longer than party leaders or officials from the three finalist cities had expected. “Where you hold our convention is a very strong statement of your values and who and what we are fighting for,” Perez said Monday surrounded by state and local officials. Perez praised Milwaukee’s diversity and its labor unions,

along with Wisconsin’s working-class identity. He called it an ideal backdrop for Democrats to launch a fall campaign to reclaim the White House four years after Trump stunningly outpaced Hillary Clinton across the old industrial belt of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes. “The Democratic Party has again become an every ZIP code party,” Perez said. “We’re listening to people in every corner of the country.” The convention is scheduled for July 13-16, 2020. It will be the first time in over a century that Democrats will nominate their presidential candidate in a Midwestern city other than Chicago. Instead, the spotlight will shine for a week on a metro area of about 1.6 million people. Once dubbed as “The Machine Shop of the World,” the city is the birthplace of HarleyDavidson motorcycles and is

known for its enduring love affair with beer — a trait displayed Monday as Perez and surrounding dignitaries closed their celebratory news conference with a toast. Republicans are set to gather in Charlotte, the largest city in battleground North Carolina, on Aug. 24-27, 2020. Perez noted that the convention site doesn’t determine the November outcome, but Democrats see plenty of symbolism in Milwaukee after a bitter 2016 election defined by Clinton being nearly swept in what her campaign aides had confidently called a Midwestern “Blue Wall.” That band of states twice sided with President Barack Obama, but Clinton held only Minnesota, ceding Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania — a combined 64 of the necessary 270 electoral votes — as white working-class voters flocked to Trump.

It was the first time since 1984 that Republicans claimed Wisconsin in a presidential election. Afterward, Clinton took withering criticism for not once visiting Wisconsin as a general election candidate. Since then, Wisconsinites reelected Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin and ousted Republican Gov. Scott Walker in favor of Democrat Tony Evers and the state’s first black lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes. Evers and Barnes beamed Monday as they welcomed Perez. Wisconsin Democrats pointed to those midterm election results as they lobbied Perez and DNC officials. “We plan to carry that momentum into 2020 and beyond,” Barnes said Monday. “The path to the presidency goes right through Wisconsin as we learned in 2016,” Baldwin, who won re-election in 2018, told The Associated Press.

DIGEST Ex-VP Cheney criticizes Trump’s foreign policy Former Vice President Dick Cheney criticized President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, even comparing it with that of former President Barack Obama, in a striking rebuke of the president by a member of his own party. Speaking with Vice President Mike Pence this weekend at a closed-door retreat hosted by the American Enterprise Institute in Sea Island, Ga., Cheney warned that American allies were questioning the dependability of the U.S. as a result of Trump’s public statements. Cheney highlighted Trump’s public complaints about the role of NATO and the surprise announcement of the withdrawal of troops from Syria. Cheney’s remarks were first reported Monday by The Washington Post. DeVos allows controversial payments to religious schools • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Monday she would no longer enforce a rule that bars religious institutions from providing certain taxpayer-funded services in private schools, saying the restriction ran afoul of a court decision involving a Missouri case. Under federal education law, private schools are entitled to many of the federally funded services that public schools receive, particularly if they educate children from low-income households or English-language learners. The rules mean that public schools pay for professional development for private school teachers, or send a member of their own staff to provide reading help to a struggling child who is eligible for extra help. Often, school districts contract with third parties, but the rules barred school districts from contracting with religious institutions. DeVos said the prohibition was no longer enforceable because of a 2017 Supreme Court decision that ruled religious organizations could not be excluded from state programs if the organizations have secular intent. The court sided with Trinity Lutheran, a Missouri Synod church in Columbia, Mo., that sought to participate in a state program to resurface its playground for preschoolers. Sanders won’t clarify remark on Democrats and Jews • White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to say Monday whether President Donald Trump believes Democrats “hate Jewish people,” arguing that reporters should pose that question to Democratic lawmakers. According to an attendee, Trump said Friday at a Republican National Committee fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago Club that “the Democrats hate Jewish people.” News of Trump’s remarks was first reported by Axios. Sanders said she would not “comment on a potentially leaked document,” and took aim at Democrats for a House resolution last week that broadly condemned hate, arguing that the measure — which overwhelmingly passed with bipartisan support — did not specifically reference alleged antiSemitic comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. Honda recall expected • Honda is likely to recall around 1 million older vehicles in the U.S. and Canada because the Takata driver’s side air bag inflators that were installed during previous recalls could be dangerous. Documents posted Monday by Canadian safety regulators show Honda is recalling many of its most popular models for a second time. The models are from as far back as 2001 and as recent as 2010. Honda spokesman Chris Martin said the company plans to issue a public statement Tuesday. Fake Uber driver charged with kidnapping • An Alabama man is charged with kidnapping by pretending to be an Uber driver to pick up a university student who was found unconscious in the back seat of his car, police said Monday. Investigators found images on the driver’s cellphone of at least one other college-aged woman who appeared unconscious in the vehicle, said Capt. Gary Hood, commander of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit. Tommy Beard, 61, was released on bond Friday on a first-degree kidnapping charge, court records show. “He had a fake Uber sign that he bought online, and he admitted that he wasn’t an Uber driver,” Hood added. CEO of migrant camp provider to resign • The nation’s largest provider of facilities for detaining migrant children said Monday that its founder and CEO is stepping down after months of criticism. Southwest Key Programs said in a statement that Juan Sanchez will retire. Southwest Key received $523 million in government funding from January to September. From news services