POTUS Impeachment: Trump Fury Grows Against Democrats
By Staff, Agencies
US President Donald Trump raged against impeachment Wednesday, tweeting that the process was “BULL****” and calling for the lead investigator in Congress to be charged with treason.
Trump – accused of leaning on Ukraine’s president to dig up dirt on one of his main 2020 election rivals – fired the swear word at Democrats.
Adam Schiff, the Democrat leading the impeachment probe in the lower chamber of Congress, told reporters there was a “real sense of urgency” to press forward.
Trump fought back with language that would once have been inconceivable for a president, including his claim late Tuesday on Twitter that this is “not an impeachment, it is a COUP.” While meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the White House, Trump said Schiff was “a low life” who should be arrested for “treason.”
Trump insists that he did nothing wrong in a phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Wednesday got support from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who said he saw “nothing compromising” in the conversation. Given Trump’s controversial history with Putin, it was unlikely that the Kremlin leader’s backing would do much to calm waters back in Washington.
After keeping pronouncements mostly to Twitter over the last week, Trump used his press appearance with Niinisto to let rip in front of the cameras, calling his treatment “a disgrace.” Trump is accused of having pressured Zelenskiy to help him by opening a corruption investigation against leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in a July 25 phone call. He is alleged to have suggested that military equipment Ukraine sought to beef up its defenses against Russia would be contingent on him getting that favor.
A whistleblower, so far only identified as someone from the intelligence services, went to the authorities with concerns about the phone call, triggering the impeachment inquiry.
Trump has likened the whistleblower to a spy and called for his or her identity to be made public, although by law whistleblowers are protected. He has also retweeted a warning that his removal from office could trigger “civil war.”
Schiff Wednesday called Trump’s comments about the whistleblower a “blatant effort to intimidate witnesses.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier accused Democrats of trying to “intimidate” and “bully” State Department employees. Democrats said he was “stonewalling” their investigation.
Pompeo and Trump’s controversial personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have been subpoenaed to provide documents. Five diplomats have so far been summoned to testify.
The Secretary of States suggested that the committees could be forced to subpoena the five officials, and that the State Department and White House could seek to limit what they can talk about. “I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo himself risks greater pressure after the Democratic heads of the three investigating congressional committees said his being in on the phone call made him “a fact witness.”
The Democrats say that subpoenas could also be issued to force White House compliance with their demands for documentation.
“We’re not fooling around here,” Schiff said.
“We don’t want this to drag on months and months and months, which appears to be the administration’s strategy.