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Nancy Pelosi faces pressure from impeachment calls

Impeachment calls from Democratic lawmakers are reaching a fever pitch and putting intense pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to advance the process, following whistleblower allegations that President Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to investigate corruption involving former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

“At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior — it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it,” freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Saturday night.

The New York Democrat has clashed with party leadership before, but this time her squad looked a little different. Pelosi ally Rep. Jared Huffman and 2020 Democratic hopefuls Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro joined her in laying the blame at leadership’s feet.

“After the Mueller report, Congress had a duty to begin impeachment. By failing to act, Congress is complicit in Trump’s latest attempt to solicit foreign interference to aid him in U.S. elections,” Ms. Warren tweeted.

“Do your constitutional duty and impeach the president.”

Other House Democrats aren’t going so far as to blame leadership, but they are fanning the flames of impeachment — saying the president’s latest alleged misdeed is past the point of no return.

“We may very well have crossed the Rubicon here,” Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said on CNN this weekend.

At the core of the latest uptick in impeachment fervor are allegations that Mr. Trump repeatedly urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to work with his personal lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to investigate the business dealings of Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.

A government whistleblower report detailing the alleged interaction has been blocked from Congress, sparking accusations of obstruction from Democrats.

Mr. Trump acknowledged that he discussed Mr. Biden, a frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, in his conversation with Mr. Zelenskiy but denied using aid money as leverage to pressure the foreign government into cooperating with an investigation.

Several lawmakers have argued that if they don’t move forward on impeachment now, Mr. Trump would be virtually untouchable.

“We are in a constitutional crisis,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a House Judiciary Committee member, tweeted Monday. “At the core of all of this is not the question of what happens if we move forward with impeachment, it’s the question of what happens if we do NOT move forward.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the rare move Sunday to address both Democrats and Republicans in a “Dear Colleague” letter urging acting National Intelligence Director Joesph Maguire to turn over the whistleblower report to Congress by Thursday.

Should the deadline not be met or the administration intervened, Mrs. Pelosi threatened to up the ante without using the I-word.

“If the administration persists in blocking this whistleblower 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 the investigation,” she wrote.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer backed up her position Monday, urging his Republican colleagues in the Senate to end their “see no evil” act and join Democrats calling for the report.

But with growing calls for impeachment fueling the latest push, there is a question of how much patience the Democratic Party has.

“[Pelosi] gave [Mr. Maguire] a deadline of Thursday,” Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro said in an interview with NPR Monday. “If he’s not forthcoming, I think we should start impeachment on Friday before we leave town.”

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Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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