The White House:
This is a culmination of a months-long investigative battle between Democrats and the White House.
NEW YORK – President Donald Trump dismissed House Democrats’ decision to launch an impeachment inquiry Tuesday as “witch hunt garbage.”
The president, who is in New York for his third United Nations General Assembly, returned to Trump Tower in Manhattan for what White House officials described as “executive time” shortly before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the decision.
He sent a series of tweets minutes later.
“Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage,” Trump tweeted. “So bad for our Country!”
The president followed up with a tweet naming the chairs of several of the committees that have been investigating him for years, then fired off a two-word missive in all caps: “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” Another tweet included a video featuring Democratic lawmakers and candidates for president discussing impeachment.
Impeaching a U.S. president might not be the be-all-end-all for their career. We explain why this is the case.
Just the FAQs, USA TODAY
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in a statement said Democrats had “destroyed any chances of legislative progress” with the move, though the prospects for major legislative action were already low. Without using the word “impeachment” in the three paragraph statement, Grisham described the “attacks” as “partisan and pathetic.”
Grisham said the White House would “continue to be vigorous in laying out the facts.” Democrats announced their impeachment inquiry in part as a response to the White House decision not to release a whistleblower report on Trump.
The president is scheduled to attend a diplomatic reception late Tuesday, but that event will take place behind closed doors. Trump is scheduled to next appear in public at a meeting Wednesday focused on Venezuela.
Trump’s campaign sought to turn the inquiry into a campaign issue, blasting a fundraising solicitation to supporters late Tuesday slamming the impeachment drive.
“The misguided Democrat impeachment strategy is meant to appease their rabid, extreme, leftist base, but will only serve to embolden and energize President Trump’s supporters and create a landslide victory for the president,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said.
Pelosi’s move followed days of controversy about whether Trump sought to pressure Ukraine to dig up political dirt on a top political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
“The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law,” said Pelosi, who accused Trump of betraying his oath of office and endangering national security.
“The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution,” she said, “especially when the president says, ‘I can do whatever I want.’ “
The scandal erupted over a complaint Aug. 12 from an unnamed official in the intelligence community who called attention to Trump’s contacts with Ukraine. On July 25, Trump had a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to urge him to fight corruption. Trump acknowledged bringing up Biden in the conversation.
Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani have been pushing Ukraine to investigate Burisma Group, a Ukrainian energy company where the vice president’s son Hunter served on the board of directors.
During the time period when Trump and Zelensky spoke, the Trump administration was holding up millions of dollars in military aid approved by Congress.
Democratic strategist Jim Manley called Trump’s post-Pelosi tweets part of a pattern. Manley said the president “admitted to some very serious allegations” but said his actions are appropriate. He also sought to direct attention to Biden.
“It’s an interesting strategy that has kinda worked for him in the past,” Manley said. “Lets see if it works for him now.”
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/09/24/donald-trump-calls-impeachment-inquiry-witch-hunt-garbage-harassment/2432554001/