The phrase "quid pro quo" isn't the accurate way to describe what occurred in connection with Ukraine, Rep. Jim Himes, and Americans will see that for themselves when the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump goes public, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Monday.
"Quid pro quo is not a legal term," the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "What is a legal term is bribery or extortion, and what happened was without question, in my mind, as someone who sat in those rooms and listened to these witnesses as the American people will soon have an opportunity to do was extortion."
He added that what Trump said to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and what his "people" said, was "unless you go public, and it was pretty specific too, on television, and say that you're going to announce an investigation into the president's political opponent, this aid is not likely to get delivered."
Meanwhile, the tone of the hearings will "startle" the American people, Himes said.
"The individuals we're talking about here, Bill Taylor, George Kent, and Marie Yovanovitch, they are the definition of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts," he said. "You are going to hear from some of the most startling, competent and virtuous people that you can imagine. I think that will change the weather against the Republican attempts to damage anybody who believes that the president's actions were wrong."
Himes also said it is a "good question" about whether former National Security Adviser John Bolton or acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will testify before the hearings, as they've handed the question over whether they have to appear over to the courts.
"At some level, the legal tactic here is absurd," said Himes. "That's important for oversight. Can you imagine what it means for the separation of powers if the president just gets to say, sorry, I'm not sending people to go talk to Congress?"
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