The pardoning ceremony came amid the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, which is headed by House Intelligence Committee chief Adam Schiff. On Monday, he said that the first report on the matter would be submitted to the Judiciary Committee after the Thanksgiving holiday recess.
During a traditional ceremony at the White House Rose Garden ahead of the National Thanksgiving Day on Tuesday, President Donald Trump granted a “full and complete pardon” to two turkeys, nicknamed Bread and Butter.
“Pardoning” turkeys for Thanksgiving Day became a formal tradition in 1989 under George H.W. Bush’s administration, and US Presidents have almost always used the event to make a spate of topical jokes.
Trump remained committed to the tradition, jokingly saying that the turkeys “have already received subpoenas to appear in Adam Schiff’s basement on Thursday”, an apparent nod to the ongoing impeachment inquiry against the US President.
House Intelligence Committee chief Adam Schiff has been slammed for holding some impeachment proceedings in Capitol Hill’s secure basement room.
“It’s true. Hundreds of people have. It seems the Democrats are accusing me of being too soft on turkey,” Trump went on to say.
The remarks are widely perceived to refer to his previous move to withdraw US troops from northern Syria, in what was followed by Turkey launching a military operation against Kurdish forces in the area.
A vast number of netizens heaped praise on Trump’s participation in the pardon ceremony as well as his remarks, tweeting that “this guy is incredible” and that it’s “actually a pretty clever line”.
Some were less optimistic, though, posting sarcastic comments on Trump’s remarks.
The turkey pardon ceremony came as Schiff said in letter distributed to fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives earlier this week that “the committees are now preparing a report summarising the evidence [related to an impeachment probe] we have found thus far, which will be transmitted to the Judiciary Committee soon after Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess”.
The impeachment probe was initiated by House Democrats in September after a whistleblower alleged that Trump had abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former US Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden. Trump called the probe a hoax and another political witch hunt.