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Nancy Pelosi Is About to Announce an Impeachment Inquiry of Trump

A whistleblower's complaint has done what the Mueller Report couldn't: convince the house speaker to pursue impeachment.

by Morgan Baskin
Sep 24 2019, 7:41pm

This is a developing story. We will continue to update this post.

After resisting for months, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) will announce on Tuesday a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump, several news outlets are reporting.

Pelosi is scheduled to meet with House Democrats at 4 p.m., followed by a press conference where she’s expected to make her announcement. Her apparent reversal comes amid reports that Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who was doing business there.

It’s a dramatic turn, coming just days after news broke that a whistleblower reported concerns to the intelligence community’s inspector general about Trump’s interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

It later emerged that Trump, in a July phone call, asked Zelensky to launch a corruption investigation of Biden and his son. And on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump asked his then-chief of staff “to place a hold on $391 million in aid to Ukraine” days before he spoke to the Ukrainian president, fueling accusations that Trump used the money to pressure Zelensky to open the investigation.

Read more: How Trump is trying to "Crooked Hillary" Joe Biden with Ukraine.

The revelations led to a wave of once-reluctant Democrats coming out in support of impeachment. By Tuesday afternoon, 170 House Democrats said they supported launching an impeachment probe, including several moderate Democrats from competitive swing districts who’d previously resisted calls to pursue impeachment. That figure represents more than two-thirds of the 235 Democrats in the House.

On Monday evening, seven of those Democrats — part of the so-called Frontline caucus —wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post announcing their support of impeachment proceedings.

Trump has denied that he used the foreign aid as leverage, though he admitted to withholding money from Ukraine. He tweeted Tuesday afternoon that the White House on Wednesday will release the full and unredacted transcript of his call with Zelensky.

“You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call,” Trump wrote. “No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo!”

As Trump tweeted, Pelosi was speaking at a political conference hosted by The Atlantic. Asked to respond to the tweet, Pelosi said that the Constitution doesn’t require a quid pro quo to have occurred in order for an offense to be impeachable.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted Tuesday afternoon that the whistleblower’s counsel had reached out to the committee.

“Their client would like to speak to our committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI as to how to do so,” Schiff said.

“We‘re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week,” he continued.

And in what appears to be a reminder of the uphill battle Democrats face in pursuing impeachment, Trump also tweeted just before 3 p.m. on Tuesday an image of one of his rallies. Pasted on it is text reading “53% APPROVAL RATING.”

“THANK YOU!” Trump tweeted.

Biden spoke to reporters Tuesday afternoon in Delaware.

“I knew when I decided to run, this president would attack me and anyone else [he perceived] to be a threat,” Joe Biden said at a press conference, where he declined to take reporters' questions. “I can take the political attacks. They’ll come and they’ll go, and in time they’ll soon be forgotten. But if we allow a president to get away with shredding the U.S. Constitution, that will last forever.”

Read more: Republicans are not budging on Trump and Ukraine.

“This isn’t a Democratic issue, a Republican issue. This is a national issue, a security issue. It’s time for this administration to stop stonewalling.”

“We know who Donald Trump is. It’s time to let the world know who we are.”

Update, 4:34 p.m.

Trump’s reelection campaign sent an email blast on Tuesday afternoon, announcing the creation of an “Official Impeachment Defense Task Force.”

“The Democrats know they have no chance of winning in 2020, so now they are crying ‘impeachment!’” the email reads. “We won’t stand for this any longer, and neither should YOU. Which is why President Trump is launching the Official Impeachment Defense Task Force.”

It was not immediately made clear what the task force will do.

https://twitter.com/MikeMadden/status/1176583236228722691/photo/1

Chad Pergram, a senior producer for Fox News, also reported on Tuesday afternoon that House Democrats will introduce a resolution on Wednesday making clear their “disapproval” of the Trump administration’s attempt to withhold the contents of the whistleblower’s complaint.

The Senate approved a similar measure, unanimously passing a non-binding resolution that calls on the Trump administration to release the whistleblower complaint to the appropriate Congressional intelligence committees.

https://twitter.com/igorbobic/status/1176593611963752451?s=20

Cover: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a rally of organized labor Tuesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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ukraine
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impeachment
president trump
whistleblower
foreign aid
Volodymyr Zelensky