Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused the U.S. Congress of complicity in President Donald Trump’s continued abuse of power late Friday, after reports surfaced of his alleged attempts to solicit foreign meddling in the 2020 presidential election, and reiterated her demand that Democrats use their majority in the House to pursue impeachment.
Warren’s tweeted statement came hours after the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s opposition to a Ukrainian prosecutor in 2016.
Warren wrote that House Democrats should have promptly pursued impeachment after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Trump’s campaign, which outlined a number of instances in which the president obstructed justice during Mueller’s investigation—similar to the actions that led Congress to draft articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon in 1974.
“By failing to act, Congress is complicit in Trump’s latest attempt to solicit foreign interference to aid him in U.S. elections,” Warren said. “Do your constitutional duty and impeach the president.”
The Massachusetts Democrat and presidential candidate first demanded that Congress begin impeachment proceedings after reading the Mueller Report in April.
The House Judiciary Committee, which called former Trump campaign official Corey Lewandowski to testify earlier this week, has said it is in the midst of an impeachment inquiry. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declined to classify the proceedings as such, and Democrats have drawn criticism for progressing slowly toward holding the president accountable for alleged obstruction of justice.
The reports of Trump’s communications with Ukraine came days after the Washington Post reported that a whistleblower in the intelligence community revealed a “promise” the president made to Ukrainian officials. In comments to the press on Friday afternoon, Trump said, “It doesn’t matter what I discuss” with foreign officials and called his conversation with Zelensky “totally appropriate.”
“A president is sitting in the Oval Office, right now, who continues to commit crimes,” Warren tweeted. “He continues because he knows his Justice Department won’t act and believes Congress won’t either. Today’s news confirmed he thinks he’s above the law. If we do nothing, he’ll be right.”
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the possibility of impeaching Trump, calling the whistleblower’s report “alarming” and saying the White House is “breaking the law” by not allowing the director of national security to forward the complaint to Congress—but adding only that laws must be passed to prevent future presidents from behaving as Trump has.
“I do think that we will have to pass some laws that will have clarity for future presidents,” Pelosi told NPR. “A president should be indicted, if he’s committed a wrongdoing—any president.”
Pelosi drew rebukes from legislators and on social media for her continued reluctance.
“She’s still holding back,” lawmaker told The Daily Beast. “If impeachment isn’t for this, why is impeachment in the constitution?”
“In 1974, Democrats and Republicans united in support of impeachment not out of mutual contempt for Nixon but mutual respect for the rule of law,” Warren tweeted. “Congress refused to be complicit in future law-breaking by Nixon or other presidents. It’s time for this Congress to step up and act.”
Warren won praise for her call to Congress.
There’s a big problem if Joe Biden only wants to serve one term as president
Former Vice President Joe Biden may intend to only serve one term if elected president in 2020, a new report from Politico found on Wednesday.
The idea of eschewing a second term had previously buzzed around the campaign, as well as the related notion that Biden could announce a one-term pledge. But according to Politico, Biden is currently against the “pledge” and is instead only saying privately that he “will almost certainly not run for a second term.”
If this is true, it’s a huge mistake.
Here are 9 things you absolutely need to know about the 2020 Democratic primary race
If you’re a political junkie who’s been watching every twist and turn in the Democratic primary race since the day after the 2018 midterm results came–and if those in your social media circle are the same way–you’ve probably grown weary of the drawn-out campaign and wish people would start voting already. But keep in mind that many less engaged voters are just now beginning to tune in. Historically, early-state primary polls have only begun to have predictive value after Thanksgiving. That make sense when you consider that most people don’t pick out their Halloween costumes in May or June.
Don’t be too sure that impeachment won’t move public opinion
Last week, I lamented about how the political press is incapable of conveying the gravity of a historic clash between two co-equal branches of government–one that has the potential to redefine a president’s powers and immunities going forward–in large part because most reporters are trained to cover political conflicts on the eve of an election first and foremost in the context of the horse race. So yesterday’s big impeachment news was that 70 percent of Americans believed Trump’s “actions tied to Ukraine were wrong” and a slim majority favored removing him from office, according to an ABC News/ Ipsos poll, and today we learn that “the first week of the House’s public impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump did not move public support for the inquiry in Democrats’ favor, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll.”