Trump impeachment ‘may be only remedy’ as Congress moves towards formal process

The House Intelligence Committee chairman said Congress may need to move forward with the “extraordinary remedy” of impeachment against Donald Trump as Democrats on Capitol Hill face increased pressure to launch formal proceedings against the president. 

Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, described new allegations against Mr Trump as potentially the “most profound violation of the presidential oath of office” after it was reported last week the president repeatedly urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call earlier this year to launch an investigation into the son of his potential 2020 opponent, Joe Biden. 

“There is no privilege that covers corruption,” Mr Schiff said in an interview on Sunday with CNN’s Jake Tapper, while calling for the release of a whistle-blower complaint which reportedly focused on that phone call, as well as a transcript of the conversation between the two presidents. 

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.
From
15p
€0.18
$0.18
USD 0.27
a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.
Subscribe now

When asked if the allegations may lead to an “impeachable offence,” Mr Schiff said: “I have been very reluctant to go down the path of impeachment … But if the president is essentially withholding military aid at the same time that he is trying to browbeat a foreign leader to do something illicit that is providing dirt on his opponent during a presidential campaign, then that may be the only remedy that is co-equal to the evil that that conduct represents.”

Joseph Maguire, Mr Trump’s acting director of National Intelligence, has refused to hand over the whistle-blower complaint in question to Congress, despite the inspector general for the US intelligence community determining the complaint was credible and of “urgent concern” in a letter sent to Mr Schiff earlier this month. 

leftCreated with Sketch.
rightCreated with Sketch.

1/22 Bernie Sanders

The Vermont senator has announced that he will be running again in 2020 after losing out to Hilary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries. He intends to run on a similar platform of democratic socialist reform

Getty

2/22 Joe Biden

The former vice president – poised to be a frontrunner – has announced his run. He recently faced scrutiny for inappropriate touching of women, but was thought to deal with the criticism well

EPA

3/22 Elizabeth Warren

The Massachusetts Senator has formally launched her bid for president in 2020. A progressive Democrat, she is a major supporter of regulating Wall Street.

Reuters

4/22 Bill De Blasio

The New York mayor announced his bid on 16 May 2019. He emerged in 2013 as a leading voice in the left wing of his party but has struggled to build a national profile and has suffered a number of political setbacks in his time as mayor

AFP/Getty

5/22 Pete Buttigieg

The Indiana mayor and war veteran will be running for president. If elected, he would be the first openly LGBT+ president in American history

Getty

6/22 Beto O’Rourke

The former Texas congressman formally launched his bid for the presidency in March. He intends to run on a progressive platform, stating that the US is driven by “gross differences in opportunity and outcome”

AP

7/22 Steve Bullock

The Montana governor announced his bid on 14 May. He stated “We need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 and defeat the corrupt system that lets campaign money drown out the people’s voice, so we can finally make good on the promise of a fair shot for everyone.” He also highlighted the fact that he won the governor’s seat in a red [Republican] state

Reuters

8/22 Cory Booker

The New Jersey Senator has announced that he will be running for the presidency in 2020. If he secures the nomination he said finding a female vice president would be a priority

Getty

9/22 Wayne Messam

Mayor of the city of Miramar in the Miami metropolitan area, Wayne Messam has announced his bid. He intends to run on a progressive platform against the “broken” federal government. He favours gun regulations and was a signatory to a letter from some 400 mayors condemning President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord

Vice News

10/22 Kirsten Gillibrand

The New York Senator formally announced her presidential bid in January, saying that “healthcare should be a right, not a privilege”

Getty

11/22 Kamala Harris

The former California attorney general will be running for president in 2020. Introduced to the national stage during Jeff Sessions’ testimony, she has endorsed Medicare-for-all and proposed a major tax-credit for the middle class

AFP/Getty

12/22 John Delaney

The Maryland congressman was the first to launch his bid for presidency, making the announcement in 2017

AP

13/22 Tulsi Gabbard

The Hawaii congresswoman announced her candidacy in January, but is likely to face tough questions on her past comments on LGBT+ rights and her stance on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Getty

14/22 Andrew Yang

The entrepreneur has announced his presidential candidacy, and has pledged that he would introduce a universal basic income of $1,000 a month to every American over the age of 18

Getty

15/22 Julian Castro

The former San Antonio mayor announced his candidacy in January and said that his running has a “special meaning” for the Latino community in the US

Getty

16/22 Marianne Williamson

The author and spiritual adviser has announced her intention to run for president. She had previously run for congress as an independent in 2014 but was unsuccessful

Getty

17/22 Eric Swalwell

One of the younger candidates, Swalwell has served on multiple committees in the House of Representatives. He intends to make gun control central to his campaign

Getty

18/22 Seth Moulton

A Massachusetts congressman, Moulton is a former US soldier who is best known for trying to stop Nancy Pelosi from becoming speaker of the house

Getty

19/22 Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar is a Minnesota senator who earned praise for her contribution to the Brett Kavanaugh hearings

Getty

20/22 Jay Inslee

Inslee has been governor of Washington since 2013. His bid centres around climate change

AFP/Getty

21/22 John Hickenlooper

The former governor of Colorado is running on a sensible ticket. He aims to sell himself as an effective leader who is open to compromise and evidences this with his experience as governor

Getty

22/22 Tim Ryan

Ohio representative Tim Ryan will be running a campaign that hinges on his working class roots

Getty

1/22 Bernie Sanders

The Vermont senator has announced that he will be running again in 2020 after losing out to Hilary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries. He intends to run on a similar platform of democratic socialist reform

Getty

2/22 Joe Biden

The former vice president – poised to be a frontrunner – has announced his run. He recently faced scrutiny for inappropriate touching of women, but was thought to deal with the criticism well

EPA

3/22 Elizabeth Warren

The Massachusetts Senator has formally launched her bid for president in 2020. A progressive Democrat, she is a major supporter of regulating Wall Street.

Reuters

4/22 Bill De Blasio

The New York mayor announced his bid on 16 May 2019. He emerged in 2013 as a leading voice in the left wing of his party but has struggled to build a national profile and has suffered a number of political setbacks in his time as mayor

AFP/Getty

5/22 Pete Buttigieg

The Indiana mayor and war veteran will be running for president. If elected, he would be the first openly LGBT+ president in American history

Getty

6/22 Beto O’Rourke

The former Texas congressman formally launched his bid for the presidency in March. He intends to run on a progressive platform, stating that the US is driven by “gross differences in opportunity and outcome”

AP

7/22 Steve Bullock

The Montana governor announced his bid on 14 May. He stated “We need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 and defeat the corrupt system that lets campaign money drown out the people’s voice, so we can finally make good on the promise of a fair shot for everyone.” He also highlighted the fact that he won the governor’s seat in a red [Republican] state

Reuters

8/22 Cory Booker

The New Jersey Senator has announced that he will be running for the presidency in 2020. If he secures the nomination he said finding a female vice president would be a priority

Getty

9/22 Wayne Messam

Mayor of the city of Miramar in the Miami metropolitan area, Wayne Messam has announced his bid. He intends to run on a progressive platform against the “broken” federal government. He favours gun regulations and was a signatory to a letter from some 400 mayors condemning President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord

Vice News

10/22 Kirsten Gillibrand

The New York Senator formally announced her presidential bid in January, saying that “healthcare should be a right, not a privilege”

Getty

11/22 Kamala Harris

The former California attorney general will be running for president in 2020. Introduced to the national stage during Jeff Sessions’ testimony, she has endorsed Medicare-for-all and proposed a major tax-credit for the middle class

AFP/Getty

12/22 John Delaney

The Maryland congressman was the first to launch his bid for presidency, making the announcement in 2017

AP

13/22 Tulsi Gabbard

The Hawaii congresswoman announced her candidacy in January, but is likely to face tough questions on her past comments on LGBT+ rights and her stance on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Getty

14/22 Andrew Yang

The entrepreneur has announced his presidential candidacy, and has pledged that he would introduce a universal basic income of $1,000 a month to every American over the age of 18

Getty

15/22 Julian Castro

The former San Antonio mayor announced his candidacy in January and said that his running has a “special meaning” for the Latino community in the US

Getty

16/22 Marianne Williamson

The author and spiritual adviser has announced her intention to run for president. She had previously run for congress as an independent in 2014 but was unsuccessful

Getty

17/22 Eric Swalwell

One of the younger candidates, Swalwell has served on multiple committees in the House of Representatives. He intends to make gun control central to his campaign

Getty

18/22 Seth Moulton

A Massachusetts congressman, Moulton is a former US soldier who is best known for trying to stop Nancy Pelosi from becoming speaker of the house

Getty

19/22 Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar is a Minnesota senator who earned praise for her contribution to the Brett Kavanaugh hearings

Getty

20/22 Jay Inslee

Inslee has been governor of Washington since 2013. His bid centres around climate change

AFP/Getty

21/22 John Hickenlooper

The former governor of Colorado is running on a sensible ticket. He aims to sell himself as an effective leader who is open to compromise and evidences this with his experience as governor

Getty

22/22 Tim Ryan

Ohio representative Tim Ryan will be running a campaign that hinges on his working class roots

Getty

The House Intelligence Committee has launched a probe into the whistle-blower complaint and its possible implications in the 2020 elections. 

Reports have alleged the president called on Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, who worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father served as vice president, at least eight times during his call with Mr Zelensky. 

There has been no reported evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the younger Mr Biden, however, and his role on a board for the Ukrainian energy firm during his father’s tenure in the White House was entirely legal, according to analysts. 

Mr Trump spoke to Mr Zelensky on 25 July – the day after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified in Washington about the president’s alleged obstruction of justice – at a time when the US was reportedly withholding financial aid to Ukraine meant to defend the country from Russia. 

Mr Schiff said on Sunday he could not be sure whether the whistle-blower complaint is in fact related to the president’s call with Mr Zelensky, as he has not yet been provided access to the document. 

Only the best news in your inbox

Only the best news in your inbox

“I don’t know whether the whistle-blower complaint is on this allegation but if it is – and even if it isn’t – why doesn’t the president just say, ‘release the whistle-blower complaint?” He said. “Clearly, he’s afraid for the public to see either one of those things.”

Watch more

He added: “We’re determined to make sure that the public does, that the nation is protected, that is the president is brow-beating a foreign leader at the same time he was withholding vital military assistance that Ukraine needed to defend itself against Russia, and trying to get dirt on his political opponent in yet a second campaign, then the country needs to know about it and we need to take defensive steps.”

The whistle-blower scandal has put renewed pressure on Democratic leaders like Mr Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to support impeaching the president. 

In a letter released over the weekend, Ms Pelosi warned the administration was entering “a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,” if it did not release the whistle-blower complaint to Congress.

House Democrats have previously said they are in the midst of an official impeachment investigation into the president, with the first hearing arriving last week as the president’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski spoke to the House Judiciary Committee. Formal impeachment proceedings in the House have not yet begun.

Read more

Mr Biden slammed the president over allegations stemming from the July phone call when speaking to reporters on the campaign trail in Iowa on Saturday. 

“Here’s what I know: I know Trump deserves to be investigated,” the former vice president said. 

“You should be asking him the question, why is he on the phone with a foreign leader, trying to intimidate a foreign leader, if that’s what happened,” he added. “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.” 

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Mr Trump has defended himself from the accusations and denied reports he urged Ukraine to investigate Mr Biden. 

“Now that the Democrats and the Fake News Media have gone ‘bust’ on every other of their Witch Hunt schemes, they are trying to start one just as ridiculous as the others, call it the Ukraine Witch Hunt, while at the same time trying to protect Sleepy Joe Biden,” the president tweeted, adding: “Will fail again!”




Source link