Democratic National Chairman Tom Perez gave his blessings Wednesday morning to the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now underway in the House of Representatives.
"The hole impeachment inquiry brings no joy to me, no joy to Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi, no joy to anyone," Perez told Newsmax.
But, he quickly added, when Members of Congress "run for office, they take an office to uphold the Constitution and the laws of United States."
Calling the impeachment proceedings so far, "a straightforward abuse of power case," Perez singled out the testimony Monday of Gordon Sondland, former ambassador to the European Union, that he told officials in the Ukraine that military aid to their country was tied to their assisting in the investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Sondland's testimony was, in Perez's words, "a smoking gun."
The Democratic Party boss also called the recent testimony of Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor and Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman about Trump strongarming Ukraine to acquire political intelligence "unassailable."
"All have corroborated this is an abuse of power," he said. "You don't hold foreign aid hostage to get dirt on a political opponent."
Pressed as to how far Democrats in Congress will take the impeachment process, Perez declined to say. Instead, he wondered aloud about Republicans abandoning the president over what he called the abuse of power by Trump.
Recalling how the late Sen. Howard Baker, R-Tenn., finally abandoned his spirited defense of President Richard Nixon during the impeachment process in 1973-74, Perez asked, "Will there be a Howard Baker moment? It took him two years. Will there be someone with the courage to step up?
"Past actions [of Republicans in Congress] don't give me a lot of optimism."
Perez spoke at a press breakfast in Washington hosted by The Christian Science Monitor.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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