The White House is reportedly planning to send House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter “arguing that President Trump and his team can ignore lawmakers’ demands until she holds a full House vote formally approving an impeachment inquiry,” Axios reports. Though Speaker Pelosi did not rule out the possibility of a vote by full chamber for the inquiry, she reiterated that a vote is not required for the inquiry to move ahead, stating there “is no requirement under the Constitution, under House Rules, or House precedent that the whole House Vote before proceeding with an impeachment inquiry.”
With this letter, Trump and his supporters are not only preparing for a battle in court but are also attempting to manipulate the public into thinking that the White House’s resistance to Congress’ requests are justified. Republicans claim the minority party will have more influence over hearings and other proceedings of an impeachment hearing after it’s been formalized with a vote. According to Axios’ sources, Trump wants to force House Democrats in vulnerable races to be on record if they support pursuing impeachment.
While Republicans continue to play down the allegations facing the president and attack the credibility of the whistleblower (even though all the allegations made by the whistleblower so far matched what intelligence officials have found), they have conveniently not addressed a few things. Republicans have not addressed the damning text messages between US diplomats and a senior Ukrainian aide revealing how a potential investigation by Ukraine into the 2016 election was linked to desired meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In addition, Republican haven’t addressed a new report revealing a June 18 call between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in which they also discussed Biden, as well as Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
On Friday, top House chairmen tasked with leading the inquiry issued subpoenas to the acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney seeking pertinent documents, NPR reports. The House chairmen pointed to statements made by Trump earlier this week at a press conference saying he “always cooperate[s].” In a joint statement from Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-NY.; and Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., they said, “The White House has refused to engage with—or even respond to—multiple requests for documents from our Committees on a voluntary basis. After nearly a month of stonewalling, it appears clear that the President has chosen the path of defiance, obstruction, and cover-up.”
All this comes amidst increasing support for Trump’s impeachment. Politico conducted a survey which showed for the first time that more voters support Trump’s impeachment than oppose it. 46 percent of voters said Congress should begin impeachment proceedings while 43 percent said Congress should not, and 11 percent had no opinion.
While writing this article, Axios reported that Trump told House Republicans that he made the phone call to Ukrainian President Zelensky at the urging of Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Trump now claims he did not even want to make the call. In usual Trump fashion, he is trying to shift the blame away from himself. Trump and his Republican cronies have shown a continued disregard for American values, and impeachment proceedings most certainly should continue. Trump’s presidency is nothing but a disgrace.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)