President Donald Trump has called a looming impeachment inquiry against him a “positive,” saying it will help him “win the election.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the investigation shortly afterwards.
Speaking to reporters at the UN General Assembly in New York, Trump said that impeachment would be “a positive for me,” adding “we will win the election.”
Democrats in Congress have threatened to impeach Trump countless times already – sometimes for non-offenses like “being such good friends with Putin,” or making up mean nicknames. However, this latest effort has garnered some more momentum than previous attempts.
Democrats accuse Trump of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter and his business dealings in the country, in a July phone call. Trump has promised to release a transcript of the call clearing him of wrongdoing, but Democrats have demanded that the full content of the whistleblower complaint that drew attention to the call in the first place.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) made the call on Tuesday evening, giving her blessing to the 176 House Democrats already favoring impeachment. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has said that he will back Pelosi’s decision, though the inquiry still requires a vote in the House before it is authorized.
“Today, I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry,” Pelosi said in a televised statement.
The speaker accused Trump of “asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically,” and said the administration broke the law by withholding a whistleblower complaint pertaining to the phone call from Congress.
“The president must be held accountable; no one is above the law,” Pelosi continued.
Until now, Pelosi has resisted the clamor for impeachment from within her own party, calling the rigamarole “divisive” and insisting that it would only energize Trump’s base.
Within seconds of Pelosi’s announcement, Trump launched into a Twitter tirade, lambasting the move as “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT.”
The president also followed that up with a campaign ad accusing Democrats of having “one sole focus,” referring to impeachment.
Democrats did not even wait for the transcript of his contentious call to be released, Trump said, suggesting that they timed the announcement to “ruin” an “important day at the United Nations” that brought “much success.”
Despite Pelosi’s apparent change of heart, impeachment is not popular with voters. Even at the height of Robert Mueller’s ‘Russiagate’ investigation, support for investigating and ousting Trump rarely cracked 40 percent in the polls. Amid Trump’s public ‘racism’ feud with the quartet of progressive lawmakers dubbed ‘The Squad’ this summer, support for impeachment still barely passed 30 percent.
If the alleged evidence against Trump is sufficient to see him deposed, then Pelosi’s gambit will pay off. If not, her party will face an angry electorate – Republican and Democrat – next year.