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For whatever reason, Donald Trump seems to be feeling emboldened. Despite being the subject of an impeachment inquiry over abuse of power, he's still asking foreign governments for help investigating his opponents, and to top it off, he's planning on sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), daring her to hold an impeachment vote.
The speaker has been holding off all year on starting impeachment proceedings, worried about what the fallout would be in the voting booth November 2020 if it didn't go well. But she finally pulled the plug on it last month after being made aware of a Trump call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asking him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, following a conspiracy theory that the two were involved in something illegal.
Doubling down on the speaker, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeted a letter that he sent to the speaker on Thursday.
He captioned the letter stating that he is asking her to "halt the impeachment inquiry until we can receive public answers to the following questions." He adds that "given the enormity of the question at hand — impeaching a duly-elected president — the American public deserves fairness and transparency."
McCarthy's letter informs Pelosi she has "given no clear indication as to how your impeachment inquiry will proceed — including whether key historical precedents or basic standards of due process will be observed."
He also calls out the "swiftness and recklessness" of the way she has launched the inquiry and noted it has "already resulted in committee chairs attempting to limit minority participation in scheduled interviews, calling into question the integrity of such an inquiry."
He asks if she is intending on holding a vote of the full House before authorizing the inquiry, involving the full House in each step, granting co-equal subpoena power to both the Chair and Ranking Member of the committees, giving Trump's attorney the right to attend the hearings and depositions, etc.
He recalls her words at a news conference this week stating, "We have to be fair to the president," and explains if she says "no" to any of his questions, she's contradicting modern impeachment inquiries and denying Trump "the bare minimum rights granted to his predecessors" and creating a process without "merit or legitimacy."
Pelosi responded that "existing rules of the House provide House committees with full authority to conduct investigations for all matters under their jurisdiction."
Trump responded to McCarthy's letter by saying, "We look forward to you soon becoming speaker of the House. The Do Nothing Dems don't have a chance!"
Pelosi later tweeted, "The fact that the @HouseGOP's loyalty is to Trump and not to the Constitution is not going to slow down or impair our ability to keep the republic our Founders envisioned."
Former Vice President Biden chimed in on Twitter, "The idea of Donald trump attacking anyone's integrity is a joke."
Trump doubled down by tweeting that as POTUS, "I have an absolute right, perhaps even a duty, to investigate, or have investigated, CORRUPTION, and that would include asking, or suggesting, other countries to help us out!"
While the letter that Trump is promising to send to Pelosi was promised as early as Friday, he simply discussed with reporters again his intention to send a letter, and by mid-afternoon, it still had not been noted as being received.
As with many times before, the president seems to be all bark and no bite.
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