WASHINGTON – Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the formalization of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump Tuesday. Saying “the president must be held accountable” for his “betrayal of his oath of office. Betrayal of our national security, and the betrayal of the integrity of our elections Fox news reports
The speaker effectively endorsed the process, which to some degree has already been underway, after facing fresh pressure from inside the caucus to act.
The move could help Democrats’ disputed arguments in court that impeachment proceedings were in fact in progress, which could entitle Congress to obtain additional documents.
Pelosi specifically charged that the administration had violated the law by not turning over a whistleblower complaint concerning Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Citing testimony that the director of national intelligence was blocking the release of that complaint, she said: “This is a violation of law. The law is unequivocal.”
Trump Allegedly Pushed Zelensky to Investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter
Joe Biden has acknowledged on camera that, when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, while Shokin was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings — where Hunter Biden was on the board. Shokin himself had separately been accused of corruption.
But there were several indicators throughout the day that Pelosi’s gambit could backfire, as Republicans predicted over the weekend.
Trump Vowed Earlier Tuesday to Release a “complete” Transcript
Additionally, a senior administration official told Fox News late Tuesday that the White House is working as quickly as it can to release to Congress a whistleblower complaint, as long as it’s legally possible. The official told Fox News that the White House had nothing to hide, that there has been no wrongdoing,
The Wall Street Journal reported that the complaint must be declassified first, but will likely be in Congress’ hands by the end of the week.
And The New York Times reported that the White House had dropped its objection to the whistleblower speaking to Congress. That came after the GOP-controlled Senate passed a unanimous resolution seeking access to the whistleblower’s complaint.
Democrat House Speaker Pelosi Pressured to Impeach Trump
Still, Pelosi appeared undeterred — and she and other Democrats suggested to reporters that impeachment could be appropriate even for matters unrelated to the Ukraine probe.
“This week, the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically,” Pelosi said. “Therefore, today, I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I’m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella.
“The president must be held accountable,” she continued. “No one is above the law.”
Invoking the “darkest days of the American Revolution,” Pelosi called on lawmakers to honor their constitutional oath to protect the country “from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Dem. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler Desperate to Impeach Trump
The Democratic-led committees then would gather evidence and president it to Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who would make the ultimate determination on whether to hold an impeachment vote.
A Democratic source told Fox News that the House Intelligence Committee, led by California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, would take the lead in the investigation — and that Nadler might not be pleased with the arrangement.
“I don’t think he’s happy that he has less influence here, but everybody is on the same page and has the same role,” the source said of Nadler.
Schiff “will have a heavy role here because the foundation of the Ukraine allegations is thorough his committee,” the source said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., responded to Pelosi’s statement by noting that Democrats have been pushing to impeach Trump for years, for a variety of reasons.
“Nancy Pelosi may be Speaker of the House,” McCarthy said, “but she does not speak for America. … What she said today made no difference in what’s been going on. This election is over. It’s time to put the public before politics.”
Trump, for his part, ripped into Democrats in a series of tweets immediately after Pelosi’s comments, writing that “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT” was in progress again.
Source: Fox News