President Trump was accused late last week of issuing a “dare” to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The alleged ultimatum was that the White House would not be cooperating with their “formal impeachment inquiry” until The House took a vote to authorize it. Trump wanted to not only speed up the process, but also get Democrats on record right as they head into the meat and potatoes of the 2020 election.
Pelosi and her fellow Democrats fired off a few subpoenas anyway, to test the already-chartered waters. They were met with the retort they were told to expect, and now we find ourselves in a constitutional fight as opposed to a political one.
The Democrats had attempted to preempt this very situation by warning the President that any “stonewalling” would be met with charges of obstruction. They repeated that threat this afternoon.
President Donald Trump intensified his fight with Congress Tuesday over the Democrats’ impeachment investigation, as the administration blocked a U.S. diplomat from testifying behind closed doors about the president’s dealings with Ukraine. House committee chairmen said they would subpoena the envoy to force him to appear.
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. European Union ambassador, was barred from appearing in a closed-door session with three House panels investigating Trump’s entreaties to Ukraine. Text messages released last week revealed conversations between Sondland and two other U.S. diplomats who were acting as intermediaries as the president urged Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden’s family and the 2016 U.S. election.
House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Sondland’s no-show was “yet additional strong evidence” of obstruction of Congress by Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. That will only strengthen the Democrats’ case as they conduct an impeachment inquiry and consider an eventual impeachment vote, he said.
“By preventing us from hearing from this witness and obtaining these documents, the president and secretary of state are taking actions that prevent us from getting the facts needed to protect the nation’s security,” Schiff said. “For this impeachment inquiry we are determined to find answers.”
The stage has been set for the latest impeachment showdown, and it appears as though Trump has the upper hand.
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