2019-10-22 11:41:031 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) must know she has a strong case in the impeachment inquiry. Her office released a four-page "fact sheet" showing the evidence the House Democrats have against Trump, equalling a gross abuse of power.
The House Democrats launched the investigation after the whistleblower complaint came to light. The complaint involved a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky where Trump leaned on him to investigate conspiracy theories in exchange for a White House meeting and military aid.
These conspiracy theories involved former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter as well as one centering on Ukraine ordering the Democratic National Committee hack and not the Russians.
In "the shakedown" section, there are quotes from the transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call. It says that conversation "paints a damning picture of Trump abusing his office by pressing a foreign government to interfere in our 2020 elections."
It reports that the president "has betrayed his oath of office, betrayed our national security, and betrayed the integrity of our elections for his own personal political gain."
The "pressure campaign" section includes the text messages that were released between State Department officials. In one, the top official at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, writes, "I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."
The "coverup" section shows the whistleblower's initial complaint of the phone call and the work done to hide that. His information had been secondhand.
The whistleblower, an anonymous U.S. intelligence official, complained that White House officials "intervened to 'lock down' all records of the phone call" and put the transcript in "a separate electronic system ... used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature."
This appears to have caused Trump to blast the impeachment inquiry, suggesting that House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) could be the informant to the whistleblower.
During a cabinet meeting on Monday, Trump called the inquiry a "phone investigation" and insisted the House Democrats were trying to impeach him because they aren't able to beat him next year in the presidential election.
"I think they want to impeach me because it's the only way they're going to win," he complained to reporters.
He also lodged more insults at Schiff, referring to him as a "crooked politician" and suggesting that he might have been the whistleblower's informant.
"So was there actually an informant?" he questioned. "Maybe the informant was Schiff. It could be shifty Schiff."
Trump once again insisted that his conversation with Zelensky was a "perfect call." He urged Republicans to "get tougher and fight" the impeachment inquiry.
At the same time Pelosi was releasing the "fact sheet," Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) said he was sponsoring a censure resolution on Schiff and forcing a debate on the issue to let the chairman "know himself how disappointed we are."
Biggs contends it's also important for the Democrats to go on record about the impeachment process that has mostly been behind closed doors, although he said this during a Fox News interview while Pelosi was releasing the "fact sheet" publicly.
"It gives the Democrats an opportunity to show where they are on due process, and they get to say, 'Look, we're perfectly content with closed-door impeachment inquiry," or they get to say, 'This isn't quite right, and we want to do it the right way.' "
Biggs reported that the GOP has lost confidence in Schiff. "He's not a fair arbiter, and that's part of what this goes to," he said. "He's kind of poisoned the well here."
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