OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is becoming a shell of her former self in terms of power and influence in the House that she twice reigned over.
A close ally and fellow Californian, Rep. Anna Eshoo, whose district included Silicon Valley, at 80, is calling it quits after spending the better part of the past 30 years in Washington, D.C.
“As the first woman and the first Democrat to ever represent our district, I’m very proud of the body of bipartisan work I’ve been able to achieve on your behalf in Congress,” Eshoo said in a video she posted to social media. “As my last year in Congress approaches, I will continue my work with vigor and unswerving commitment to you.”
Eshoo also highlighted a breakfast she recently attended with Pelosi and members of Congress at an event in the Golden State, as her exit — and Pelosi’s, at some point in the near future — represents another step toward irrelevancy within the Democratic Party as a newer, more left-wing faction, takes over.
It was an honor to join Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi for a breakfast reception with Members of Congress at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco as part of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. pic.twitter.com/3RIWTSu3Nm
— Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (@RepAnnaEshoo) November 17, 2023
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), 73, previously announced her retirement as well, leading Politico to report that Eshoo “is the second longtime ally of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to depart Congress.”
In addition, another California Democrat, Rep. Tony Cárdenas, has announced that he, too, won’t be returning to Congress after a decade in the House, per Roll Call. In all, 31 current lawmakers — 21 Democrats and 10 Republicans — have said they won’t be running for reelection this time around.
“Both Eshoo and Cárdenas represent seats in solidly Democratic districts. But Eshoo’s retirement will also prompt a race to replace her as head of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., and Cardenas were next in line and are both retiring,” Roll Call reported.
Early last month, Pelosi was issued a subpoena “to produce documents in a criminal case” in California.
Fox News noted that Pelosi informed the House of Representatives of the subpoena in a statement that “was read by the House Clerk, which is standard when a member is issued a subpoena related to a civil or criminal matter.”
“This is to notify you formally pursuant to Rule Eight of the rules of the House of Representatives, that I, the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Emerita, and U.S. Representative for the 11th Congressional District of California, have been served with third party subpoenas from the prosecution and the defendant to produce documents in a criminal case and United States District Court for the Northern District of California,” said Pelosi’s statement, per Fox News.
“After consultation with the Office of General Counsel, I have determined that compliance with the subpoenas is consistent with the privileges and of the House to the extent it requires production of non-privileged information. The responses to the subpoenas will be identical,” the statement noted further.
Fox reported that Pelosi’s office refused to comment on the legal matter. However, a source familiar with the situation told the outlet that the subpoena is linked to the then-upcoming trial of David DePape, the man who assailed her husband, Paul Pelosi, in the couple’s San Francisco mansion during a violent home invasion last year. He has since been found guilty of charges related to the attack.
Following the attack, Pelosi said it would likely factor into her decision to retire.
In an exclusive interview with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, the host said that there has “been a lot of discussion about whether you’d retire if Democrats lose the House.”
The then-speaker responded by saying that the “decision will be affected about what happened the last week or two,” which got Cooper to ask, “Will your decision be impacted by the attack in any way?”
“Yes,” Pelosi said, though obviously, she did not retire.