Joe Biden: Trump leaves Congress "no choice but to initiate impeachment"

CNN Politics 1 month ago

What we know so far

  • 5 p.m. ET: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will make a statement. She is expected to announce a formal impeachment inquiry.
  • About the Ukraine drama: Trump pressed Ukraine's president in a call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, a person familiar with the situation said. Trump asked his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to put a hold on millions in military aid to Ukraine roughly one week before the call, two senior administration officials said.
  • The call transcript: Trump said he will release the "unredacted transcript" of his phone call with the Ukrainian president tomorrow.

Joe Biden: Trump leaves Congress "no choice but to initiate impeachment"

Former Vice President Joe Biden called on Congress to investigate President Trump.

“Denying Congress the information, which it is constitutionally entitled to, and obstructing its efforts to investigate actions is not the conduct of an American president. It’s an abuse of power," Biden said.

"Donald Trump will leave Congress, in my view, no choice but to initiate impeachment. That would be a tragedy, but a tragedy of his own making," Biden said.

He added that Congress should demand the information they need to investigate Trump.

"I can take the political attacks. They’ll come and they’ll go, and in time they’ll soon be forgotten, but if we allow a president to get away with shredding the United States constitution, that will last forever," Biden said.

Nancy Pelosi is expected to announce formal impeachment inquiry

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to announced a formal impeachment inquiry later today, according to multiple Hill sources.

Trump claims Congressional Democrats can't "get anything done" as calls for impeachment grow

An hour before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to convene her caucus to discuss next steps on investigations, President Trump is railing against Congressional inaction on gun control and healthcare – topics on which his administration has stonewalled, as well.   

Trump's tweet comes less than an hour after he announced he would be releasing an unredacted transcript of his call with the Ukrainian president tomorrow.

Mitch McConnell says it's "premature" to talk about impeachment


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it’s “premature” to discuss what the Senate might do if President Trump is impeached in the House.

He said he was “never given an explanation” why the aid to Ukraine was held up even as he was pressing administration officials to release the aid.

McConnell said they were "going to find out what happened” in terms of the whistleblower’s allegations through the “apolitical” Senate Intelligence Committee process.

Asked if the Senate would take up articles of impeachment if they were sent over from the House, McConnell said he was not going to discuss all “various hypotheticals that have been aired out about what may or may not happen in the House” and said it was “premature” to consider. 

Rep. Adam Schiff: The whistleblower wants to speak

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, just tweeted that the whistleblower's attorney has informed the committee that he would like to testify. 

The testimony, he said, could happen as soon as this week.

About the whistleblower's complaint: CNN had earlier reported, citing a source familiar with the case, that the complaint was prompted by concerns over communications between the President and a foreign leader. The alleged whistleblower didn't have direct knowledge of the communications that partly prompted the complaint to the inspector general, an official briefed on the matter told CNN on Thursday. Instead, the whistleblower's concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration's determination that the complaint didn't fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.

Pelosi on Trump's Ukraine drama: "This is not a good thing for our democracy"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was just speaking about President Trump's announcement that he will release a transcript of his call with Ukraine's president and whether her caucus will stand out of it turns out to be less harmful.

Pelosi made it clear that "it's not about that."

Here's what she said:

Pelosi: "The President is making lawlessness a virtue in our country"

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi just addressed President Trump's Ukraine drama.

Pelosi is expected to give a statement at 5 p.m. ET. She is speaking now at The Atlantic Festival.

Trump says a transcript of his call with the Ukrainian president will be released tomorrow

President Trump just tweeted that he has "authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine."

Here are the tweets:

Bernie Sanders wants the House Judiciary to move forward with an impeachment inquiry

 Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, speaking in Iowa today, said he hopes the House Judiciary Committee will move forward with an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. 

Sanders, who has always been open to an impeachment inquiry, called on the committee to demand information from the Trump administration.

"But I think all over this country, we have people including Republicans, who are sick and tired of a president who believes that he does not have to obey the Constitution of the United States, and that he is above the law," he said.

Sanders continued: "Enough is enough. Today I hope very much that the Judiciary Committee will go forward with an impeachment inquiry, but let me also say this. And that is, that the Congress of the United States must show the American people, that it can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time."  

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