Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats have scheduled a closed-door meeting Tuesday to discuss renewed calls for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Enthusiasm for pursuing the measure surged among Democrats over the weekend as tensions flared between Trump and Congress over reports that a member of the intelligence community had blown the whistle on presidential foreign policy wrongdoings.
According to The Washington Post and The New York Times, former U.S. officials confirmed Thursday the allegations centered around a phone conversation between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump allegedly threatened to refuse aid to the Eastern European nation should its government not investigate the Biden family’s political and business dealings there.
House Democrats have seized on these allegations, saying their base now demands they “get tough” on the president and recommit to removing him from office, CNN reported.
“I think we’re reaching a tipping point both within our base and within our caucus,” Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia said Monday. “This weekend, all I hear at home is when are Democrats going to get tough?”
“We are looking weak,” Connolly added.
“She was making calls as late as Monday night & many leadership aides who once thought Trump’s impeachment was unlikely now say they think its almost inevitable”
This is the right call. Removal or not, duty+fidelity to the Constitution must be paramounthttps://t.co/YSUlUcN3se
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) September 24, 2019
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff took a similar tone Sunday, claiming he has been “reluctant” to seriously consider impeaching Trump as a viable option but the Ukraine scandal is forcing him to think differently.
Pelosi has been quick in recent months to put her foot down with regard to such talk within the Democratic Party, telling her caucus just two weeks ago that it simply did not have the votes to pursue the measure as the Russian collusion narrative fizzled.
But even the House speaker was glued to the phones Monday rallying support for Tuesday’s closed-door meeting, according to The Post.
Trump unequivocally denied any allegation that U.S. foreign aid payments were used as a bargaining chip for dirt on Biden in an election year, according to Politico.
“I did not ask for — I did not make a statement that you have to do this or I’m not gonna give you aid,” Trump told reporters Monday at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. “I wouldn’t do that.”
….story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine. Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster. The Fake News knows this but doesn’t want to report!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2019
Trump has, however, made clear that he believes former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine should be investigated for potential bribery or corruption.
Biden had, in his time as vice president, threatened Ukrainian leadership with a retraction of $1 billion in loan guarantees should a federal prosecutor investigating gas company Burisma not be fired.
Biden’s son held a seat on the board at Burisma.
And recent allegations targeting the White House, Trump tweeted this weekend, were merely an attempt to deflect away from these details — as they may damage the 2020 Democratic primary front-runner’s election prospects.
“The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money,” Trump wrote, “so they fabricate a story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine.”
“Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster,” the president added.
“The Fake News knows this but doesn’t want to report!”
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