House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s wall against impeachment again appeared to be crumbling as she warned that a “whole new stage of investigation” could be coming.
The California Democrat came out with a more aggressive approach to President Trump and his administration Sunday following criticism by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the “national scandal” of her party not pursuing impeachment of the president.
Pelosi’s statement on Sunday came amid controversy over a whistleblower complaint alleging an improper “promise” the president made to the leader of Ukraine.
“If the administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the president, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,” she told lawmakers in an open letter to colleagues.
Though the Democratic leader has previously resisted the idea of an impeachment inquiry over fears of the damage it could inflict on the more moderate Democratic members of the House, she issued the warning of an escalating investigation of the administration. appearing to relent to pressure from demands by Ocasio-Cortez and others on the left.
“At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior — it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it,” the freshman lawmaker from New York tweeted.
At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior – it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 22, 2019
Pelosi demanded the whistleblower’s complaint be provided to Congress in her letter, and called on lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to act in the wake of the administration blocking Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from releasing the document which reportedly related to a conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July about potentially investigating Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
“The administration is endangering our national security and having a chilling effect on any future whistleblower who sees wrongdoing,” Pelosi wrote.
“We must be sure that the president and his administration are always conducting our national security and foreign policy in the best interest of the American people, not the president’s personal or political interest,” she continued in her letter.
“I am calling on Republicans to join us in insisting that the acting DNI obey the law as we seek the truth to protect the American people and our Constitution,” Pelosi added. “This violation is about our national security. The Inspector General determined that the matter is “urgent” and therefore we face an emergency that must be addressed immediately.”
According to Fox News:
Inspector General Michael Atkinson of the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) wrote in a Sep. 9 letter to the House Intelligence Committee that the whistleblower complaint “appeared credible” and related to an “urgent” matter. But, the DNI general counsel said days later that, after consulting with the DOJ, the matter did not meet the legal definition of an “urgent concern,” and was not subject to mandatory disclosure to Congress.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff blamed the president whose actions “force” Democrats to pursue impeachment.
“Why doesn’t the president just say, ‘Release the whistleblower complaint.’ Clearly he’s afraid for the public to see,” the California Democrat told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.
House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff: “Why doesn’t the President simply release the transcript of that call [with Ukraine’s president]? … Clearly he’s afraid for the public to see.”
Via CNN pic.twitter.com/lht8MftyOi
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 22, 2019
“This would be the most profound violation of the presidential oath of office, certainly during this presidency, which says a lot, but perhaps during any presidency. There is no privilege that covers corruption. There is no privilege to engage in underhanded discussions,” Schiff said.
The president asserted Sunday that nothing inappropriate occurred on the call to the Ukrainian president and that Biden’s “corruption” was at the heart of the issue.
Trump sets the record straight: Ukraine call was about Biden ‘corruption’ https://t.co/sTgFN0XaLZ
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 22, 2019
Biden, meanwhile, denied ever speaking to his son about his business in Ukraine, calling Trump’s actions an “overwhelming abuse of power.”
“Trump’s doing this because he knows I’ll beat him like a drum, and he’s using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me,” he said over the weekend in Iowa.
Rep. Devin Nunes predicted the whistleblower report would backfire on Democrats and declared the end of the former vice president’s 2020 election bid.
“These stories first originated back when Hillary Clinton was trying to make sure Biden didn’t get in the race,” the California Republican said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“So now that these have been resurrected, I don’t know who came up with the scheme — maybe this whistleblower really is not a partisan,” he said. “We want to hear from that whistleblower, but it sure looks like the scheme has backfired. And, like I said, it looks like this is the end of Biden’s campaign. I really do … his lead is basically down to zero.”