House Speaker Nancy Pelosi long resisted fellow Democrats' please to hold an impeachment investigation.
Today, that changed.
Following reports that Trump withheld aid to Ukraine while pressing the country to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Pelosi Announces Impeachment Inquiry.
“Today, I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry,” Mrs. Pelosi said in the Capitol, in front of several American flags. “The action taken to date by the president appears to violate the constitution.”
She added that she was directing six House committees already investigating Mr. Trump to continue their probes “under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry.”
Democrats are also planning to vote Wednesday on a resolution condemning Mr. Trump for withholding a whistleblower complaint concerning Mr. Trump, part of which involves a July phone call between the president and his counterpart in Ukraine. Mr. Trump asked his acting chief of staff to place a hold on $391 million in aid to Ukraine more than a week before a July phone call in which the president urged his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Mr. Biden’s son, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Mr. Trump said he approved the Wednesday release of an unredacted transcript of that July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But Democrats are also seeking details of the full whistleblower complaint. Mrs. Pelosi said if the administration is blocking the whistleblower report from coming to Congress, that is a violation of the law.
“The dam has broken because this is a form of betrayal of his presidential oath and national security that is taking place in real time,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md.), who supports pursuing an impeachment inquiry. “Trump’s not just a candidate now, he’s president of the United States.”
Investigation May Harm Foreign Policy
President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he will “release the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript” of his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a conversation that is at the center of a growing political scandal that has prompted appeals from Democrats for Trump to be impeached.
The scandal has to do with whether Trump improperly used his position to try to coerce the Ukrainian government into investigating his 2020 political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden — perhaps by withholding military aid to the Eastern European country until it agreed.
Trump has admitted to discussing Biden with Ukraine, but he maintains that the phone call with Zelensky was “a very friendly and totally appropriate call.”
Putting the contents of the call out, some say, will help shed additional light on the issue. The problem is that the move is woefully inadequate — and could actually harm US foreign policy in the process.
Here’s why: Heads of state need the ability to speak candidly to one another, and they will only do that if they have 100 percent assurance that what they say will remain confidential. It takes a lot of trust to speak on the phone with another world leader about sensitive diplomatic and political issues.
“This is a big mistake — terrible precedent, as no foreign leaders in [the] future will speak candidly with the president on any future calls,” Michael McFaul, who served as the US ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration, tweeted after the news broke. “Presidents need to have the right to conduct diplomacy privately.”
Jumping the Gun by a Mile
All we have are comments from a whistleblower coupled with a document that Trump does not seem to mind sharing.
Democrats ought to at least wait until they have seen the underacted statements.
Even if those whistleblower comments are somehow pertinent to an impeachment process, unless the charges are bullet-proof and of a spectacular nature, there is no way the Senate will convict.
Trump Receives OK From Ukraine
Presume a Miracle
OK, presume a miracle. Trump is both impeached and convicted.
The Democrats would then run against Vice President Mike Pence.
Is that going to help or hurt their chances?
Stampede of Donkeys
I fail to see how this can do the Democrats any good.
At best this will become a slight distraction. At worst Trump will run rings around the Democrats via social media campaigns.
Nonetheless, the donkey stampede has finally reached critical mass. Every Democrat including the house Speaker is now sucked in.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock