AOC: The biggest scandal of all is that the Democratic House hasn’t impeached Trump yet
The word “Pelosi” isn’t mentioned here but everyone knows who the chief brake on impeachment in the House is. And thus everyone knows who these tweets are aimed at, including Nancy.
Looks like the Speaker’s truce with the Squad is officially over.
Remember that a majority of House Democrats (137 at last check, to be exact) already supported impeachment before the whistleblower news started bubbling. The remaining holdouts may hold out a bit longer to see if the whistleblower complaint is released and if it’s as bad as it’s cracked up to be, but unless it’s a total bust the political calculus may have changed on impeachment even for centrist Dems. At some point it becomes more perilous to them in a purple district to defy their base by opposing impeachment than to defy right-leaning swing voters by supporting it.
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.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 22, 2019
It is one thing for a sitting president to break the law. It’s another to let him.
The integrity of our democracy isn’t threatened when a president breaks the law. It‘s threatened when we do nothing about it.
The GOP’s silence & refusal to act shouldn’t be a surprise. Ours is.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 22, 2019
As expected, Trump has already begun the process of admitting to part of what he’s accused of, just as he famously did in the Lester Holt interview after firing Comey when he acknowledged that the Russia probe was on his mind when he dropped the axe. He hasn’t copped to threatening Ukraine’s president with a cut-off of U.S. military aid, but as to whether he asked him to investigate the son of the Democratic frontrunner for president, sure:
KEY TRUMP QUOTE:
"The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place. It was largely the fact that we don't want our people, like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine.“ pic.twitter.com/yojLgXRaM6
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) September 22, 2019
Whether he admits things against his own interest because he’s impetuous or because he’s calculated that misconduct seems less sinister when you frankly confess to it (“he wouldn’t admit to it if it were wrong, no?”) is unclear but a source of endless fascination. In any case, it was clear to all sides before the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky that Trump viewed Ukraine dimly:
[T]he Trump administration has held Zelensky at arm’s length since his election in April.
Trump refused to set a firm date for an Oval Office meeting with the newly minted Ukrainian president at the White House — a sit-down that Ukraine has urgently sought to demonstrate Washington’s backing as it fights a long-simmering war with Russian-backed proxies in its east.
U.S. officials and members of the Trump administration wanted the meeting to go ahead, but Trump personally rejected efforts to set it up, according to three people familiar with the discussions.
By the time Trump and Zelensky spoke during the July 25 telephone call, the meeting at the White House still hadn’t been set. Soon after, it was disclosed that the White House had put a hold on $250 million in military aid for Ukraine after Trump ordered a review of the assistance package.
Ukraine is a stumbling block to better U.S.-Russia relations, which is one of Trump’s foreign policy goals, and Trump resents the fact that Ukrainian officials allegedly tried to help Hillary in 2016. Having been frozen out by the White House, with the president bearing a grudge towards his country and U.S. military aid hanging in the balance, Zelensky must have understood that he was in no position to turn down a “request” from Trump whether or not it was framed explicitly as a threat. Telling Trump no when he asked about reopening the Biden probe would have risked a complete rupture of U.S.-Ukraine relations.
But what did Trump say to him, exactly? POTUS says he’s considering releasing the transcript of his call with Zelensky. Biden is demanding it, and even Trump allies are urging him to do it in hopes of putting the matter to bed. Pelosi, however, wants more than just the transcript of the call — she wants to see the whistleblower complaint, which, you may remember, allegedly involves a series of actions, not just the call between Trump and a still-unnamed foreign leader. Within the past few hours she issued a new statement about it, this time sounding more impeach-y than ever:
Potentially significant. In new letter to lawmakers, PELOSI says if the admin fails to turn over whistleblower complaint, the investigation will enter “a whole new stage” pic.twitter.com/nsY8qbDtAo
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) September 22, 2019
As you’ll see below, Adam Schiff sounds more resigned to impeachment than before too, telling Tapper this morning that Democrats may have no choice but to cross the Rubicon this time. If they’re going to do it, Pelosi will want them to do it as soon as possible in order to mitigate any electoral backlash that may result. Democrats know that acquittal in the Senate is a foregone conclusion and they don’t want impeachment drama interfering with the Democratic primary campaign next year. If the whistleblower complaint is released and the left’s impeachment push becomes irresistible by leadership, they’re better off rushing impeachment through and letting McConnell kill it before New Year’s so that the party can turn the page to the election and angry right-leaning voters will have time to cool off. “I did my duty,” Pelosi will tell AOC and progressives. “Now get off my back.”
Rep. Adam Schiff says that if the reports about Pres. Trump’s conversation with Ukraine are proven true, then impeachment may be the only "remedy." “This seems different in kind and we may very well have crossed the Rubicon here." #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/0dsWBXpC6g
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 22, 2019
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