Did Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi say that she and Democrats had been working on President Trump's impeachment for the past two-and-a-half years? No, that's not true: the claim has been taken out of context from a real quote about other investigations of Trump. The Facebook post and its accompanying meme suggest that Pelosi and Democrats were driving impeachment efforts for 30 months, well before the House embarked on the impeachment process and voted on impeachment on Dec. 13, 2019.
Pelosi was actually referring to probes of Trump, specifically the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The real quote, which is altered slightly in the Facebook post, came from Pelosi in an interview with Politico's Anna Palmer in December of 2019.
The claim against Pelosi originated from a post (archived here) where it was published on Facebook on December 26, 2019. The meme read:
Democrats pass articles of impeachment. It will now go to the full House for a vote. Pelosi said, 'We have been working on this for the past 2 1/2 years.' Think about that statement for a moment. The so called 'crime' supposedly took place in June 2019, but Democrats have been working on impeachment for 2 1/2 years. How do you work on something that won't happen for another 30 months? If this isn't an overthrow of an elected president nothing is.
The text of the Facebook post surrounding the meme said:
THIS MIGHT BE TOO COMPLICATED FOR DEMOCRAT MINDS TO COMPREHEND BUT, I AM OBLIGATED TO TRY ANYWAY.
In the interview with Palmer, Pelosi gave the quote in question with regard to criticism of the Democrat's impeachment handling and the Mueller investigation. The claim has been since debunked by others on Twitter, as well as The New York Times and NBC.
The claim made its way around the internet, from Trump's original attack of Pelosi on Twitter on Dec. 13, 2019, to articles written on it by The Federalist Papers, MRC TV and Breitbart, among several other sites that still host the misleading claim. But they lack the context in which Pelosi was speaking.
Talks of impeachment can be traced back to July of 2017, when two Democratic congressmen - Brad Sherman of California and Al Green of Texas - filed a first article against the president. The 2018 mid-term elections brought impeachment talks into the spotlight, and since then, the Mueller investigation - and the fallout from that probe - only added more intensity to the discussion.
But Pelosi has also been historically very vocal in her opposition to impeachment, particularly early on. She said to The Washington Post Magazine on March 11, 2019, that impeachment was not worth it because it would inevitably divide the country even more.
It wasn't until September 24, 2019, that she announced the beginning of a formal impeachment inquiry after allegations of a quid pro quo with Ukraine surfaced. From there, Pelosi would then announce the next major step in October of 2019 in the process: a House vote on a resolution to officially solidify impeachment proceedings.