“Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage,” Trump tweeted moments after Pelosi concluded her announcement. “So bad for our Country!”
US President Donald Trump, a Republican, remains defiant as the Democrats finally decide to hold an impeachment inquiry over alleged abuse of power.
Trump reacted furiously as US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry, firing off a burst of tweets accusing the speaker of detracting from his keynote address at the United Nations General Assembly with “Witch Hunt garbage.”
“Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage,” Donald Trump wrote on Twitter moments after Pelosi concluded her announcement. “So bad for our Country!”
“Secretary of State Pompeo received permission from Ukraine Government to release the transcript of the telephone call I had with their President. They don’t know either what the big deal is. A total Witch Hunt Scam by the Democrats!,” he later tweeted, in addition to more succinct tweets claiming “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT” and “Total Witch Hunt”.
Two impeachments have been held against US Presidents – Andrew Johnson (1867) and Bill Clinton (1998) – but both were opposed by the Senate. Trump’s Republican party control the US Senate.
Pelosi announced in five minutes of remarks that she was “directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry,” after facing months of increasing pressure from the rest of her caucus. She said Donald Trump had “breached his constitutional responsibilities” over allegations he sought the help of a foreign country to harm a political rival.
“For the past several months we have been investigating in our committees and litigating in the courts, so the House can gather all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article 1 powers — including a constitutional power of the utmost gravity of articles of impeachment,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi’s decision to announce a formal impeachment inquiry comes after news about a call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy during which the president allegedly pressed for a corruption investigation into one of his chief political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden’s son Hunter. Zelensky said his conversations with Donald Trump are “private and confidential.”
Politico reported that the call became public earlier this month after a whistleblower complaint filed by a member of the intelligence community raised alarms about the request from Trump. The Trump administration subsequently sought to block lawmakers from viewing the complaint, and details of its contents were leaked into the press.
Trump has acknowledged in recent days that he did discuss a Biden investigation during the phone call and sought to delay hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid for Ukraine.
Trump though denied offering any quid pro quo in exchange for a corruption investigation into Biden.
Pelosi and the Democratic Party believe Trump went too far.
“This week the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically,” Pelosi said. “The actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonourable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”
Trump announced via a tweet that he would be releasing a “complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript” of the call with Zelensky. Pelosi said that was insufficient for her investigators, demanding that the entirety of the complaint be turned over when the acting director of national intelligence testifies on Thursday (Washington DC time).