House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s conduct in relation to Ukraine makes what former President Richard Nixon did during the Watergate scandal “look almost small.”
During a news conference on Capitol Hill, Pelosi argued that support for having Nixon removed from office did not grow until months into the House’s impeachment inquiry.
“Impeaching is a divisive thing in our country. It’s hard,” Pelosi said. “The place that our country is now, it’s not a time where you go to 70 percent when President Nixon walked out of the White House. It wasn’t there before he left, even two weeks before he left until the other shoe fell and he walked out of the door.”
“By the way, what President Trump has done on the record in terms of acting to advantage his, a foreign power to help him in his own election and the obstruction of information about that — the coverup — makes what Nixon did look almost small,” she added.
The official impeachment inquiry into Nixon began in February 1974, and the 37th president resigned in August of that same year after the House Judiciary Committee voted to adopt three articles of impeachment.
The Watergate scandal involved the 1972 breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., by burglars connected to the White House. Nixon conspired with aides to cover-up their involvement, according to tape recordings made in the Oval Office.
Gallup found that days before Nixon left office, 71 percent of Democrats supported his removal from office and 19 percent did not. For the Republicans, 31 percent felt he should be removed and 59 percent did not.
So there was solid bipartisan support for Nixon to go.
By contrast, 87 percent of Democrats want Trump out of office, but only 7 percent of Republicans do. Ninety-two percent of Republicans oppose Trump’s removal.
Overall, 58 percent thought Nixon should be removed by August 1974, up from support ranging between 44 to 48 percent earlier in the year.
Gallup found that 51 percent of Americans currently believe Trump should be removed from office.
Pelosi described Wednesday’s public hearings before the House Intelligence Committee as a “successful day for truth” and argued that Trump had committed “bribery” by delaying military aid to Ukraine.
“The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry and that the president abused power and violated his oath by threatening to withhold military aid and a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into his political rival,” she said.
“A clear attempt by the president to give himself the advantage in the 2020 election,” Pelosi added.
When she was asked by a reporter about the witnesses only possessing secondhand knowledge of Trump’s intentions regarding Ukraine aid, Pelosi dismissed the topic.
“Don’t fall into the secondhand stuff,” she said. “That is such a fraudulent proposition put forth by the Republican, that is such a fraudulent proposition and they know it, and that’s why they’re talking about process rather than the substance of what we have heard. I just won’t even dignify what they’re saying in that regard. I just won’t.”
Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor confirmed to GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio during questioning on Wednesday he had no firsthand knowledge.
“My understanding is only coming from people that I talked to,” Taylor said.
“I’ve seen church prayer chains that are easier to understand than this,” Jordan observed concerning how Taylor came by his “clear understanding” of Trump’s intentions.
Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, said that two facts overshadow the entire Democrat-led impeachment inquiry.
“For the millions of Americans viewing today, the two most important facts are the following,” she argued during the hearing. “Number 1: Ukraine received the aid, and Number 2: There was, in fact, no investigation into [former Vice President Joe] Biden.”
.@RepStefanik is right: “For the millions of Americans viewing today, the two most important facts are the following:
“Number 1: Ukraine received the aid.
“Number 2: There was, in fact, no investigation into Biden.” pic.twitter.com/eZjrYbq6mz
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 13, 2019
The transcript of Trump’s July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows no quid pro quo.
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