Just a year before the presidential election, President Trump is likely to face an impeachment inquiry. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the formal announcement today. This is only the fourth time in its long history that a US President is looking at an impeachment threat.
“Today I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry,” Pelosi said at the Capitol late Tuesday afternoon.
The President has termed the call for impeachment as “total witch hunt”. He is in New York for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. He said that he would authorize the release of the transcript of the call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo!” the president tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
There were many calls from lawmakers to start impeachment proceedings against Trump but the speaker resisted from taking any action. The point of contention was Trump’s interaction with a foreign leader which was brought forth by a whistleblower.
The speaker has long resisted calls from many progressive lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president, but Democrats appear to have reached a breaking point over the administration’s refusal to hand over a whistleblower complaint related to Mr. Trump’s interaction with a foreign leader about a corruption case involving Joe Biden.
Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani have accused Biden of trying to get a Ukrainian prosecutor removed while he was vice president to favor his son. However, it is believed that the prosecutor was corrupt. Also, Biden has come out clean with no evidence of any wrongdoing so far.
A whistleblower’s complaint in this regard was not forwarded to the congressional committee by the acting director of national intelligence. The President directed his acting chief of staff to hold the release of around $400 million in military aid to Ukraine shortly before the call in July, according to a senior administration official.
The president’s reelection campaign criticized the impeachment inquiry stating that it was “bogus” and “fact-free” political ploy to re-litigate the 2016 presidential election.