In light of the ongoing, publicly broadcasted impeachment hearings in Washington, Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic party have escalated their rhetoric against Trump as they attempt to whip up momentum to impeach the President.
The Guardian reported that Pelosi and her colleagues has moved from accusing Trump of a “quid pro quo” arrangement with President Zelensky of Ukraine, to openly branding his actions as “bribery”. This shift towards more combative and accusatory language from senior Democrats suggests a tentative hope of a successful impeachment from the top brass of the party, and no doubt will draw a testy response from Trump’s twitter account.
The impeachment hearings got off to a dramatic start yesterday, as the acting ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, revealed that one of his aides had overheard a conversation between a fellow ambassador and President Trump, in which Trump personally inquired about the investigations he wanted to be pursued into the actions of Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. After the call, the aide asked what Trump thought of Ukraine, to which the ambassador allegedly replied “President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden”, Taylor said to the House Intelligence Committee.
The senior ambassador in question, Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, is also a multimillionaire hotel magnate who donated $1 million to Donald Trump’s inauguration committee before being appointed to his current role in 2018.
Recent media reports have indicated that a second staffer from the American embassy in Ukraine also overheard the Trump-Sondland call, potentially corroborating the testimony heard in the hearings yesterday, and strengthening the legitimacy of the evidence against the President.
The Democrats have seized this new piece of information as a clear indicator of Trump bribing Ukraine’s President Zelensky by threatening to withhold military aid from the partially invaded nation if Joe Biden’s son’s business ventures were not investigated. They cite other evidence, such as the fact that the transcript of the July phone call between Trump and Zelensky was unnecessarily placed in a highly secure server, as proof of a scandalous cover-up by the President.
By comparing Trump to Nixon, Pelosi no doubt intends to inspire a further sense of outrage, and with Trump’s campaign for re-election allegedly receiving huge numbers of small donations after the impeachment hearing yesterday, Pelosi is desperate to galvanise the impeachment process, not just to potentially dethrone the President, but also to thoroughly demonise him in time for the 2020 election.
By Max Ingleby