House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday, Nov. 14, accused President Donald Trump of admitting to bribery in the July 25 phone call around which the impeachment inquiry revolves, claiming the president has committed an impeachable offense—without evidence.
“The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections,” Pelosi said at Capitol Hill.
“That is in the Constitution, attached to the impeachment proceedings,” Pelosi explained, citing the Constitution, adding that she and House Democrats have yet to make a decision to impeach the president.
The U.S. Constitution describes the grounds for impeachment as “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
“That’s what the inquiry is about,” Pelosi said. “And when the committees decide that, then they will decide what the articles are.”
The House speaker then called President Trump’s call “perfectly wrong,” asserting that it is “bribery.”
But Pelosi was ultimately unable to establish specifically how President Trump has engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukraine in the July 25 call.
A Nov. 14 Rasmussen poll obtained following the first round of testimony showed that President Trump’s job performance rose by 2 percentage points—an exceptionally encouraging sign for the president amid the fast-paced impeachment push by Democrats.
Democrats have been investigating—as a part of the inquiry—whether or not President Trump had withheld $391 million in military aid to pressure Ukraine to probe into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter after the complaints of a whistleblower arose.
But President Trump firmly denied any wrongdoing.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy too said there was “no blackmail” and that the call was only made to arrange a meeting with President Trump, and there was no pressure for him to get involved in American politics.
The Congress-approved aid to assist a U.S. ally to fight Russia-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country eventually flowed.
House Chairman Committee Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is leading the impeachment inquiry, received a swift verbal uppercut from President Trump in an early morning tweet on Thursday.
“@RepRatcliffe asked the two ‘star’ witnesses, ‘where is the impeachable event in that call?’ Both stared straight ahead with blank look on their face, remained silent, & were unable to answer the question,” President Trump tweeted. “That would be the end of a case run by normal people! – but not Schifty!”
The president’s statement comes following the testimonies of George Kent, deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs and Bill Taylor, acting ambassador to Ukraine, appeared on Wednesday to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
Conservative talk show host Mark Levin during a Fox News appearance called Kent and Taylor “two homeless guys” for their acting at the public hearing.
The next Democrat-staged public hearing is set for Friday, with former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch scheduled to testify.