Donald Trump went on a Twitter rant shortly after Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry against him and stuck back with his favorite term for inquiries against him: ‘witch hunt.’
The president in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly meeting when he struck out at the speaker’s announcement as ‘breaking news witch hunt garbage.’
As word leaked out the speaker was going to officially launch an impeachment inquiry against him, Trump’s final meeting of the day with world leaders was closed to the media.
He returned to his penthouse in Trump Tower in time to see Pelosi’s announcement that Democrats are seeking to remove him from the White House permanently.
Donald Trump went on a Twitter rant shortly after Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry against him
President Trump’s motorcade travels through Manhattan
He took to Twitter shortly after she finished speaking and fired off four fiery responses in under 10 minutes, going all in against the speaker.
‘Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage. So bad for our Country!,’ he tweeted.
‘They never even saw the transcript of the call. A total Witch Hunt!,’ he wrote, adding ‘PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!’
He also called out several of his Democratic bete noires by name in his Twitter fury, naming the speaker, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters.
‘Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff and, of course, Maxine Waters! Can you believe this?,’ he asked.
The president is in New York for three days of meetings with world leaders, an address to the United Nations General Assembly, and a diplomatic reception – yet his mind has been on domestic matters during his time here.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement criticizing House Democrats for the move and arguing they have ‘destroyed any chance’ at passing major legislation this year.
‘In a far departure from all of the work and results of this President, House Democrats have destroyed any chances of legislative progress for the people of this country by continuing to focus all their energy on partisan political attacks. Their attacks on the President and his agenda are not only partisan and pathetic, they are in dereliction of their Constitutional duty,’ she said.
‘The Trump Administration will continue to be vigorous in laying out the facts and standing up for the many forgotten men and women who elected him,’ she added.
Trump is going all-in on his response to Speaker Pelosi’s impeachment announcement
Pelosi announced the formal inquiry Tuesday afternoon on Capitol Hill. The speaker was slow to move to this point, arguing Democrats needed the public to back them before they made such a move.
But she conceded after facing pressure from the left wing lawmakers in her party and several Democratic presidential candidates, including Joe Biden, who joined the call for impeachment Tuesday afternoon.
‘This week the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically. The actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonorable fact [sic] of the president’s betrayal of his Oath of Office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our national elections,’ Pelosi said.
‘Therefore, today I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I’m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigation under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry. The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.’
Trump will meet with newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday
Allegations President Trump asked newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, are what proved to be the breaking point for many Democrats.
Trump originally denied making such a move before conceding Biden came up in the July 25th phone call.
On Tuesday, before Democrats met on Capitol Hill to hear Pelosi’s decision on impeachment, the president announced he would release a full, unredacted transcript of his call with Zelensky.
He and Zelensky are scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon in New York City as both leaders are in town for United Nations General Assembly week.
Hours before his announcement, Trump admitted he had held up millions in security aid to Ukraine before holding the call with Zelensky.
‘I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine,’ the president tweeted.
‘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! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!’
He later tweeted: ‘Secretary of State Pompeo recieved permission from Ukraine Government to release the transcript of the telephone call I had with their President. They don’t know either what the big deal is. A total Witch Hunt Scam by the Democrats!’
Whatever the transcript may show, it’s likely to be only one piece of a puzzle laid out in a Whistle-blower complaint filed with the Director of National Intelligence’s office about the Trump-Zelensky call.
The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to demand a copy of the report from the DNI, who has maintained that its contents are beyond his authority to release. Democrats point to a section of law that requires it.
The House will vote Wednesday on a resolution disapproving of the administration’s decision to block the whistleblower complaint.
A new report reveals that Donald Trump ordered a military aid freeze of almost $400 million to Ukraine days ahead of his July phone call with Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelensky
The unnamed whistle-blower whose letter led to the week-long frenzy over the Trump call offered on Tuesday to talk with House Democrats. They quickly accepted, according to Intelligence chairman Adam Schiff
Schiff’s committee will likely be one of six, all helped by the president’s adversaries, participating in what’s being called an impeachment ‘inquiry’
The unnamed whistle-blower offered on Tuesday to talk with House Democrats. They quickly accepted.
‘We have been informed by the whistleblower’s counsel that their client would like to speak to our committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI as to how to do so,’ House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff tweeted.
‘We‘re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week,’ the California Democrat added.
Separately, Republicans in charge of the Senate Intelligence Committee pushed on Tuesday to schedule an interview with the whistle-blower.
The committee is asking the person’s lawyer to arrange a ‘closed, bipartisan interview’ with staff attorneys on Friday.
In New York at the United Nations, Trump acknowledged holding up hundreds of millions of dollars in security funds for Ukraine, but insisted he wasn’t trying to apply pressure to generate a Biden investigation.
He was perturbed, he claimed, that European powers weren’t themselves willing to ‘put up money’ to support Ukraine’s military defense.
‘I think it’s unfair that we put up the money. Then people called me. They said, “Oh, let it go,” and I let it go. But we paid the money. The money was paid. But very importantly, Germany, France, other countries should put up money and that’s been my complaint from the beginning,’ Trump said.
European nations also have provided support to Ukraine, and in July, weeks before Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine, provided $17.7 million Euros in humanitarian assistance.
Describing his phone call, which is now the subject of three congressional investigations as Democratic calls for his impeachment rise, Trump said: ‘It couldn’t have been nicer and even the Ukrainian government put out a statement that that was a perfect call, there was no pressure put on them whatsoever.’
‘But there was pressure put on with respect to Joe Biden. What Joe Biden did for his son, that’s something they should be looking at,’ Trump said – renewing his call for an investigation of his political rival.
The president once again ripped calls by Democrats for his impeachment and demands that his administration hand over a whistle-blower’s complaint.
‘I think it’s ridiculous. It’s a witch hunt. I’m leading in the polls. They have no idea how they stop me. The only way they can try is through impeachment,’ Trump vented.
‘This has never happened to a president before. There’s never been a thing like this before. It’s nonsense,’ he said.
He once again mentioned the transcript of the call, which he said he assumes the public will see.
President Trump said he would release a ‘fully declassified and unredacted transcript’ of his call with the president of Ukraine, and said there was ‘NO quid pro quo!’
‘When you see the call, when you see the readout of the call, which I assume you’ll see at some point, you’ll understand,’ he told reporters. That call was perfect. It couldn’t have been nicer. Even the Ukrainian government put out a statement that that was a perfect call.’
He continued his Monday denial of applying ‘pressure’ for Ukraine to investigate political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
‘There was no pressure put on them whatsoever. But there was pressure put on with respect to Joe Biden. What Joe Biden did for his son, that’s something they should be looking at,’ he said.
Trump withheld almost $400 million in military aid from Ukraine just days before a July phone call where he is accused of pressuring the nation’s president to prosecute Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden.
Reports emerged last week that a whistle-blower is alleging Trump’s July phone call with Zelensky included pressuring the Ukrainian leader to investigate Biden’s son Hunter for his involvement in a Ukrainian natural gas firm
The president ordering his staff to freeze the funds, which two people familiar with private conversations confirmed, is the latest revelation related to his conversation with Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelensky.
New reports emerged last week that reveal a whistle-blower, who does not have direct knowledge of the leaders’ phone call this summer, alleged that Trump tried to pressure Zelensky into probing his 2020 political rival’s son Hunter Biden regarding his involvement in a natural gas firm in Ukraine.
Trump admitted he mentioned the Biden’s in his call with Zelensky, but said it was in regards to helping keep out foreign corruption from Ukraine.
In the days before that call, Trump ordered the aid to Ukraine be frozen, but Trump asserts he did nothing wrong and has denied that any requests for help in procuring damaging information about the former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate were tied to the aid freeze.
Joe Biden said Tuesday that Congress will have no choice but to impeach Donald Trump, if he refuses to comply with every line of inquiry and all document production demands
Biden weighed in on the matter Tuesday afternoon from his home state of Delaware.
‘We have a president who believes there’s no limit to his power. We have a president who believes he can do anything and get away with it. We have a president who believes he’s above the law,’ he said.
‘Pursing the leader of another nation to investigate a political opponent to help win his election is not the conduct of an American president,’ he added.
‘If the president does not comply with such a request from Congress, if he continues to obstruct Congress and flaunt the law, Donald Trump will leave Congress, in my view, no choice but to initiate impeachment.
He added, ‘That would be a tragedy. But a tragedy of his own making.’
Several other presidential candidates – including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Beto O’Rourke – have called on Trump to be impeached.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? THE VERY COMPLICATED STEPS INVOLVED IN IMPEACHING DONALD TRUMP
Nancy Pelosi announcing a formal impeachment investigation is only the start of what will be an epic legal and constitutional clash.
Here is how impeachment goes from here.
1) Investigations step up
Six committees are now tasked by Pelosi with investigating Donald Trump with the intention of deciding whether he should be impeached. They are the House Judiciary, Oversight, Intelligence, Ways and Means, Financial Services and Foreign Affairs committees. All of them are now likely to issue a flurry of subpoenas which is certain to lead to a new:
2) Court battle over subpoenas – which could go to the Supreme Court
The Trump administration has so far resisted subpoenas by claiming executive privilege and is certain to continue to do so. Federal judges are already dealing with litigation over subpoenas for Trump’s tax and financial records and many more cases are likely to follow. But the courts have never settled the limits of executive privilege and whether an impeachment inquiry effectively gives Congress more power to overcome it. If Trump fights as hard as he can, it is likely to make its way to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, expect:
3) More hearings
Democrats know they need to convince the public that Trump needs to be put on trial and the best way to do that is hearings like those which electrified the nation during Watergate. They botched the Mueller hearing but if they produce question and answer sessions with people from Trump-world which cause public outrage, they are on their way to:
4) Drawing up formal articles of impeachment in committee
The charge sheet for impeachment – the ‘articles’ – set out what Trump is formally accused of. It has no set format – it can be as long or as short as Congress decides. Three such set of articles have been drawn up – for Andrew Johnson on 1868, Richard Nixon in 1974, and Bill Clinton in 1998. Johnson’s were the most extensive at 11, Nixon faced three, and Bill Clinton four but with a series of numbered charges in each article. Once drawn up, the judicial committee votes on them and if approved, sends them to the House for:
5) Full floor vote on impeachment
The constitution says the House needs a simple majority to proceed, but has to vote on each article. Nixon quit before such a vote so Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton are the only precedent. The House passed two out of the three articles against Clinton and all 11 against Johnson. Passing even one article leads to:
6) Senate impeachment trial
Even if the Senate is clearly not in favor of removing the president, it has to stage a trial if the House votes for impeachment. The hearing is in not in front of the full Senate, but ‘evidentiary committees’ – in theory at least similar to the existing Senate committees. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over it, but the procedures are set by senators. Members of the House prosecute Trump as ‘managers,’ bringing witnesses and presenting evidence to set out their case against the president. The president can defend himself, or, as Clinton did, use attorneys to cross-examine the witnesses. The committee or committees report to the full Senate. Then it can debate in public or deliberate in private on the guilt or innocence of the president. It holds a single open floor vote which will deliver:
7) The verdict
Impeachment must be by two-thirds of the Senate. Voting for impeachment on any one article is good enough to remove the president from office. There is no appeal.