September 24, 2019
Patience has its limits: And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), who has remained reluctant to start impeachment proceedings until a majority of the U.S. electorate demands them, may just have been pushed too far.
Indeed, Pelosi has said in a letter to House members that—unless the White House allows Acting Director of National Security Joseph Maguire to hand over a whistleblower complaint to the House Intelligence Committee, as required by law—she is prepared to take steps.
The complaint, it has now been revealed, relates to phone calls by President Donald Trump last summer to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
During those conversations, the POTUS allegedly asked Zelenskyy numerous times to investigate Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden and his son Hunter—or he would not release $250 million in Congressionally approved military aid to the Eastern European nation.
In her letter of September 22, Pelosi said, “The Administration is endangering our national security and having a chilling effect on any future whistleblower who sees wrongdoing”
She noted that the White House’s efforts to block the House Intelligence panel from seeing the complaint “must be addressed immediately” and warned of a “new stage of investigation” if the administration continues to block the whistleblower.
“This violation is about our national security. The Inspector General determined that the matter is ‘urgent’ and therefore we face an emergency,” Pelosi wrote.
Pelosi also called on congressional Republicans “to join us” in asking the acting director of national intelligence to “obey the law as we seek the truth to protect the American people and our Constitution.”
To date, Trump has not confirmed whether he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden, and the White House has not released the complaint or a transcript of the call, according to a report by The Hill.
Members of the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday received a briefing from the intelligence community’s inspector general but did not receive information about the complaint’s contents, the news outlet said.
Trump told reporters Sunday he would consider releasing the transcript of his call with the Ukrainian president.
In her letter, Pelosi, who has been cautious of calling for impeachment, fails to go as far as some of her fellow Democrats, The Hill said —many of whom have accused Trump using the presidency to bully foreign leaders into digging up information on
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) has been similarly cautious to back impeachment, but said Sunday that if allegations over Trump reaching out to Ukraine are true, impeachment “may be the only remedy.”
Research contact: @thehill