Cookies

This Website use Cookies OK

Read more Politics News

Pelosi edges toward Trump impeachment decision as Democrats decry Ukraine whistleblower scandal as ‘point of no return’

2019-09-24

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was poised for key meetings with Democratic allies Tuesday as lawmakers pushed for impeachment of President Trump over a whistleblower’s complaint that he pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.

The famously risk-averse Pelosi planned to sit down with the six lawmakers leading committees investigating Trump as previously undecided Democrats — including several moderates from swing districts — signaled new support for impeachment.

“This is an inflection point, a point of no return,” one top Democratic aide told the News. “For a lot of members, especially the (swing district) members, this is a direct attack on our electoral system.”

Seven moderate Democrats who won election in the #BlueWave midterms landslide of 2018 penned a joint opinion piece in the Washington Post explaining why the allegations about Trump’s effort to push Ukraine President Volodmyr Zelensky for help smearing Biden would merit impeachment if true.

All of the seven are military or national security veterans and all represent swing districts where impeachment was considered widely unpopular — at least up to now.

"We have sworn oaths to defend the Constitution of the United States many times over. Now, we join as a unified group to uphold that oath as we enter uncharted waters and face unprecedented allegations against President Trump,” the group of seven wrote.

The Democratic aide suggested that more previously undecided lawmakers had decided to support impeachment and would roll out their announcements in coming days.

There was no word Tuesday about any change in the position of local moderates such as Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring), Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Queens) or Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island).

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn), a progressive member of Pelosi’s leadership team, has also held off against pushing for impeachment so far.

Rep. Max Rose (D-Staten Island) is one of the few Democrats to have definitively come out against impeachment. The Marine veteran did not respond to requests for comment about if the Ukraine scandal could force him to change his stance.

Trump’s acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is scheduled to be grilled on Thursday at a Congressional hearing about his refusal to hand over the whistleblower complaint as required by law.

If he continues to defy Congress as expected, that would pile more pressure on Pelosi to launch impeachment proceedings.

Trump has strongly defended his actions in the Ukraine and has given no indication that he plans to hand over the complaint by the anonymous whistleblower, whom he has derided as a tool of “radical far left Democrats."

The president has suggested Biden is the one who should be investigated for supposedly pressuring Ukraine while vice president to fire a prosecutor who was widely accused of corruption. That prosecutor had, among other things, launched an investigation of a gas company on which Biden’s son sat on the board.

He even said Biden would face “the electric chair if he were a Republican,” seeking to rally the GOP base behind him.

But Democrats and even some Republicans say Trump hit a new low by improperly demanding help from a foreign leader in a partisan fight with a possible 2020 presidential rival.

He also moved to put a hold on about $400 million in security aid to Ukraine, a move that ratcheted up the pressure on the war-torn ally battling a Russian backed insurgency.