Pelosi calls Trump's actions 'bribery' as Democrats sharpen case for impeachment

Cheryl Sanders
November 17, 2019

Former US ambassador to Ukraine expected to face grilling in second day of public Trump impeachment hearings A former USA ambassador to Ukraine who was abruptly recalled from her post is scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Friday as Democrats cap off the first week of public hearings in their impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

"The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections". The former NY mayor also has said that he told the president there were concerns among Trump supporters that she had displayed anti-Trump bias in private conversations. As if that personal affront weren't enough, as a career State official she has also said that the president has "attacked and hollowed out from within" the department. In her closed-door testimony, she said that the comment was unclear, though when she was asked if she felt "threatened" by the president, she said yes.

The U.S. released aid to Ukraine without the Eastern European country meeting any of the conditions as part of the "quid pro quo" at the heart of the impeachment probe.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Pelosi's remarks came a day after William Taylor, the top American envoy in Kyiv, and George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state overseeing Ukraine policy, told lawmakers in the House's first public impeachment hearing since 1998 that they were deeply troubled by an apparent perversion of US policy done at the apparent behest of Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Trump himself.

"First I've heard of it", he said, brushing off the question at the White House.

The inquiry threatens Trump's presidency even as he seeks re-election in November 2020.

Republicans control the Senate and have shown little support for Mr Trump's removal.

The next hearing in the impeachment inquiry is slated for Friday.

So Democrats are shifting to "bribery" to describe Trump's conduct, though it's not yet clear whether that charge will form the basis of an article of impeachment. Trump also asked Zelenskiy to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory embraced by some Trump allies that Ukraine, not Russian Federation, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

Now Yovanovitch, hardly a marquee name in Washington, finds herself thrust into the spotlight of just the fourth impeachment inquiry in USA history.

Pelosi compared Trump's actions with former President Richard Nixon's conduct in the Watergate corruption scandal that led him in 1974 to become the only United States president to resign.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., also used the word in an interview this week with National Public Radio: "On the basis of what the witnesses have had to say so far, there are any number of potentially impeachable offenses, including bribery, including high crimes and misdemeanors".

An estimated 13.8 million viewers across 10 broadcast and cable television networks watched the first day of proceedings, according to Nielsen ratings data.

During Day One of the House hearings, career diplomats William Taylor and George Kent delivered somber testimony about recent months.

Several individuals related to or with knowledge of Trump's conversation and policy in Ukraine testified behind closed-doors before the three committees co-conducting the impeachment investigation over the past few weeks.

She lost her post in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, earlier this year after what has been described as a smear campaign by Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, witnesses have told House investigators.

The account of a telephone call in which the president discussed his interest in having Ukraine begin investigations will help bolster Democrats' case against Trump.

They testified how an ambassador was sacked, the new Ukraine government was confused and they discovered an "irregular channel" - a shadow US foreign policy orchestrated by Giuliani that raised alarms in diplomatic and national security circles.

Yovanovitch was also mentioned in Mr. Trump's July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.

During a long day of testimony, she relayed her striking story of being "kneecapped", recalled from Kyiv by Trump in a swiftly developing series of events that sounded alarms about a White House shadow foreign policy.

Yovanovitch raised concerns about the USA media reports with Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union.

When he was asked about his thoughts on it overall during a joint press briefing with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday afternoon, Trump insisted he didn't want to make that the focus of the day. It was a situation that was caused by people that shouldn't have allowed it to happen, ' Trump said during the joint press briefing.

Other reports by iNewsToday