Under withering pressure to provide Congress with information regarding a controversial phone call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, Donald Trump said Tuesday he’ll release a transcript of the conversation.
“I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine”, the president tweeted, in what amounts to a tacit admission that this particular scandal actually poses a danger to his presidency.
Over the past several days, House Democrats have seized on the call – during which Trump is said to have implored Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s son Hunter – to bolster calls for impeachment. Trump has insisted nothing untoward was said and that any discussion of Biden was not linked, implicitly or explicitly, to US aid to Ukraine.
Read more: Trump Put Hold On Ukraine Aid Days Before Call With Zelensky; Congress Gives Pompeo Thursday Deadline For Documents
On Monday evening, the Washington Post reported that Trump ordered the delay of aid just a week before his call with Zelensky, a revelation that only added to Democrats’ concerns.
Rudy Giuliani – who spearheaded the effort to convince Ukraine to re-launch the Burisma investigation – has made a series of television cameos in defense of himself and Trump, to disastrous effect.
“You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call”, Trump claimed, referencing the forthcoming transcript.
Nancy Pelosi met with Democrats on Tuesday to discuss the situation and it appeared the Speaker was edging closer to blessing a “real” impeachment bid, after months spent pushing back against calls from her own party to move forward.
Ultimately, the Washington Post says she’ll announce a formal impeachment inquiry of Trump on Tuesday afternoon at 5 PM. To wit:
The announcement later Tuesday from Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) comes amid reports that President Trump may have pressured a foreign leader to investigate former vice president and potential 2020 campaign rival Joe Biden and his family.
A growing number of House Democrats are backing an impeachment inquiry as momentum shifts in the Democratic caucus.
Democratic officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly, said she would back the step.
“No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo!”, Trump went on to tweet, just minutes before WaPo broke the Pelosi news. “This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”
The problem for Trump is that the whistle-blower complaint tied to the call is said to be based on a pattern of behavior, not just on the July call with Zelensky.
That probably means that until Congress gets the full complaint, this issue isn’t going to go away for the president.
Indeed, Chuck Schumer on Tuesday said the transcript is insufficient. “Without the complaint, we do not know what the whistle-blower thought was so urgent”, he said.
As for the whistle-blower, that person wants to talk to Adam Schiff. “We have been informed by the whistleblower’s counsel that their client would like to speak to our committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI as to how to do so”, the House intelligence chair said Tuesday, adding that “we‘re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week”.
3 thoughts on “Nancy Pelosi To Announce Formal Impeachment Inquiry As Trump Rushes To Release Ukraine Transcript”
With no idea what the actual whistleblower complaint is about, other than the parts leaked to the media (by Trump? since his circle are the only ones to have seen it) he has already had over a week to work on his defense, attack the credibility of the whistleblower, and rally his supporters and his party of marionettes. Once again we see how incredibly difficult it can be to hold a corrupt President to account when he controls the Justice department and has the complete fealty of an entire political party.
I wonder if the transcript will be similar to the missing pieces on the Nixon tapes?
Trump’s psyche is neither compartmentalized nor disciplined. Increasing pressure on him on one issue can lead to increasing unpredictability from him on other issues.