Tags: Donald Trump | Ukraine | pelosi | trump | ukraine

In Letter to Colleagues, Pelosi Hints at Impeachment

By    |   Sunday, 22 September 2019 03:45 PM

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Sunday hinted at possible impeachment proceedings in a letter to colleagues, citing President Donald Trump’s refusal to hand over a whistleblower complaint.

"If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the President, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,” Pelosi wrote.

A whistleblower alleges Trump attempted to press Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son ahead of the 2020 presidential election. The Trump administration has ordered the complaint to be withheld from Congress.

Pelosi in her letter asked Republicans to join Democrats in demanding the complaint be sent to Congress and that the individual who filed the complaint be allowed to speak with lawmakers.

“The administration is endangering our national security and having a chilling effect on any future whistle-blower who sees wrongdoing,” Pelosi wrote.

Many Democrats have called on impeachment proceedings to start, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, an impeachment skeptic.

Trump’s reported request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Schiff, was “the most profound violation of the presidential oath of office.”

Schiff has suggested Trump’s actions “may very well have crossed the Rubicon” warranting further action.

Pelosi and Democratic leaders have resisted calls to start proceedings, fearing it would harm candidates seeking re-election in Republican-leaning areas. There also is little prospect that any effort would succeed in the Republican-controlled Senate, which would hold the trial after any House action.

Schiff, who two months ago wasn’t ready to back impeachment, said Sunday reports that Trump in the July 25 call asked President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to reopen an investigation into a company tied to Joe Biden’s son could lead to congressional action.

‘Profound Violation’

If the call involved criminality or gaining leverage at odds with U.S. interests, he said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” then it would be “the most profound violation of the presidential oath of office,” He added: “It may be that we do have to move forward with that extraordinary remedy.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has supported impeachment, in a tweet said Democrats were being weak on Trump, noting the “bigger national scandal” is the party’s refusal to take action.

Schiff’s committee on Thursday is set to hear from acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire about the whistle-blower’s complaint. Maguire is also expected to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Release Report

“We expect him to obey the law and turn over the whistle-blower’s full complaint,” Pelosi said. “We also expect that he will establish a path for the whistle-blower to speak directly to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees as required by law.”

The speaker said the independent inspector general for the intelligence community, who received the complaint, deemed it of “urgent concern, and credible.” She said the administration’s blocking its release is illegal.

“We must be sure that the President and his Administration are always conducting our national security and foreign policy in the best interest of the American people, not the President’s personal or political interest,” Pelosi said.

Schiff said that impeachment may be “the only remedy that is only co-equal to the evil” of Trump trying to “browbeat” a foreign leader into doing something illicit.

Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled her readiness to take stronger action against President Donald Trump over a phone call with Ukraine's president, now the subject of scrutiny after the administration refused to release a whistle-blower's complaint about the call."If the...
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2019-45-22
Sunday, 22 September 2019 03:45 PM
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