House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced on Tuesday afternoon that she is formalizing an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Her action follows increasing pressure by her caucus, as well as, the chorus of democratic presidential candidates which came to a head last week upon an alleged whistleblower complaint that Trump pressured Ukraine during a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last July to investigate Vice President Joe Biden family’s financial ties to Ukraine, in particular, his son Hunter’s employment with a Ukrainian gas company while Biden was in office. As well as, whether Biden shut down an investigation in 2014 into his son’s company by pressuring Ukraine to fire the prosecutor conducting the investigation and used $1 billion in taxpayer funding as leverage.
The Daily Beast reported that Ukraine is likely to reopen its probe into Hunter Biden’s firm, but whether that investigation would aid Trump is questionable.
Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, publicly admitted he asked for a Ukrainian investigation. Trump admits delaying aid to Ukraine before his phone call to Zelensky. He claims his decision was not about Biden, and there was never any “quid pro quo” with Ukraine.
We don’t know for sure the nature of the whistleblower’s complaint. We don’t know how much the whistleblower knows about the phone call. Fox News recently reported that an unnamed source says he whistleblower would not have firsthand knowledge of that phone call, but we don’t know if the source knows this.
What we need to see is the transcript of the phone call, and President Trump just authorized its release.
House Democrats have, in essence, conducting an impeachment inquiry through their various investigations into the Trump Administration. Pelosi’s announcement formalizes it, and now approximately 174 Democrat members approve the effort.
An inquiry, indeed, is warranted and the Senate Intelligence Committee just launched one. As far as whether impeachment is appropriate would depend on the transcript. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to matter to Pelosi. She indicated that impeachment would be on the table regardless of what the transcript states.
The allegations are serious, but unless there was quid pro quo initiated by President Trump I’m not in favor of impeachment 14 months before an election. If the Democrats proceed with impeachment I think they’ll pay a political price.