The impeachment conversation is revving up again following the blockbuster allegations in the Wall Street Journal that President Trump threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine unless they investigated Joe Biden and his son. In other words, the president allegedly was recruiting a foreign power to get dirt on his potential rival in the 2020 election.
Trump has publicly admitted that he discussed Joe Biden in a call with Ukraine’s president.
Many observers have pointed out the latest revelation is potentially more serious than the Mueller investigation into Trump’s dealings with Russia. “There is now an obvious and immediate pragmatic upside to impeachment: stopping an ongoing abuse of presidential power that could undermine the integrity of the 2020 election,” writes Vox’s Zack Beauchamp.
Geoff Garin, the cautious, thoughtful Democratic pollster to House Democrats sees the writing on the wall. “The horse is out of the barn,” he tweeted Monday. “Saddle up.”
At least 7 of the 13 House Democrats from Texas are for impeachment or impeachment proceedings. Although Rep. Colin Allred of Dallas has been a “no” on impeachment, he issued a statement Tuesday morning suggesting a possible change of heart. (More on that in a minute.)
House Democrats have asked the White House for more information on the president’s involvement in the Ukraine phone call –and on the whistleblower who disclosed the alleged wrongdoing in the first place. The Trump Administration is blocking the whistleblower from talking to Congress.
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who previously was tamping down calls for impeachment in her caucus, telegraphed a new approach. “If the administration persists in blocking this whistle-blower 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 wrote in a letter to her colleagues.
On Tuesday morning, Rep. Allred said in a statement, “I will be forced to conclude that the only remaining option is for the House to begin impeachment proceedings” if the Administration doesn’t hand over the whistleblower complaint and if the Administration “continues to violate the law and obstruct Congress’s constitutional duty.”
The Speaker is expected to make public remarks on the newest revelations on Tuesday. How the more reserved Democrats in the House or those in swing districts react to the latest calls for impeachment might be known sooner rather than later. If the president’s call with Ukraine is going to be the final straw that triggers impeachment proceedings, one would expect it to happen quickly — unlike the long, drawn-out, two-year process in the Mueller investigation that broke down over partisan lines.
This story has been updated.
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