House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has announced that she is moving forward with “official impeachment inquiry.”
The news came after a meeting with the Democratic caucus Tuesday, though Pelosi was having discussions with key Democrats for the past 48 hours.
“This is a violation of law,” Pelosi said about the refusal to hand over the whistleblower complaint. “The law is unequivocal.”
Last week, it was revealed that Trump asked Ukranian officials to find dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. When they refused, Trump and Rudy Giuliani invented it. It’s unclear if that’s why a senior intelligence officer filed a whistleblower complaint, but there have been reports that it is exactly what was discussed in the call to Ukraine’s president.
“I can say with authority that the Trump Administration’s actions undermine both our national security and our intelligence and our protections of whistleblowers, more than both,” Pelosi said. “This Thursday, the acting DNI will appear before the House Intelligence Committee. At that time he must turn over the whistleblower’s full complaint to the committee. He will have to choose whether to break the law or honor his responsibility to the Constitution.”
She went on to remind the president that Article II of the Constitution does not give him whatever powers he wants. Trump “seriously violated the Constitution,” she went on.
During an appearance at the Atlantic Festival Tuesday, Pelosi blasted the president for making lawlessness a virtue.”
“I think we have to look at this in the larger context,” former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub said of Trump’s Ukraine scandal. “There’s people talking about possible criminal violations and analyzing the statutes and I think that’s a mistake in the larger context. This is a constitutional crisis where the president of the United States has solicited an attack on our institution of elections that actually makes us a republic.”
In a joint statement, Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced their intention of passing a resolution about the whistleblower complaint.
“Allegations that the President of the United States sought to enlist a foreign government to interfere in our democratic process by investigating one of his political rivals – and may have used the withholding of Congressionally-appropriated foreign assistance days earlier as intimidation – are deeply alarming,” the statement said. “It is imperative that the Acting Director of National Intelligence provide Congress the complaint, as specified under the law, and all requests for documents and testimony relating to this allegation. Furthermore, the whistleblower who brought this matter to the attention of the American people must be protected.”
The statement went on to say that the House resolution is a non-partisan issue and urged members to consider “the integrity of our democracy, respect for the rule of law and defending our Constitution.”
“The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law,” Pelosi closed.
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