House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said during a committee hearing on Dec. 11 that the United States can’t wait until the 2020 election to see if President Donald Trump is voted out of office.
“We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems, when the president threatens the very integrity of that election,” Nadler said.
He was speaking during a tense markup of articles of impeachment against the president.
Democrats say Trump has obstructed a congressional probe of his alleged use of the presidency to demand that a foreign government investigate a political rival.
In a July 25 phone call, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “look into” corruption allegations surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Trump referenced Biden bragging in 2018 about how he, in 2016, threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from Ukraine unless then-President Petro Poroshenko ousted a top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin.
Shokin was investigating Burisma, the employer of Biden’s son Hunter Biden.
Joe Biden is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and Democratic lawmakers say Trump was trying to interfere in that election.
“He wanted Ukraine to announce two bogus investigations: one into former Vice President Biden, his leading opponent in the 2020 election; and another to advance a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, attacked our elections in 2016,” Nadler said on Dec. 11.
Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election in addition to Russia, some Republicans have argued.
“These were not legitimate requests. Neither was supported by the evidence. One investigation was designed to help President Trump conceal the truth about the 2016 election. The other was designed to help him gain an advantage in the 2020 campaign. Both were divorced from reality—and from official U.S. policy,” Nadler said.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), speaking during the hearing, defended Trump’s actions and said the impeachment push is “about one basic fact: The Democrats have never accepted the will of the American people.
“They can’t stand it. And they’re never going to stop. And it’s not just because they don’t like the president. It’s not just because they don’t like the president. They don’t like us. They don’t like the 63 million people who voted for this president. All of us in flyover country. All of us common folk in Ohio, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Texas. They don’t like us,” he added, citing remarks by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), law professor Pamela Karlan, and former FBI agent Peter Strzok.
“Liberals tend to cluster. Conservatives spread out because they don’t even want to be around themselves,” Karlan, who was called by House Democrats to testify, told lawmakers last week.
Waters said in 2018, “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out, and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they are not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Strzok, who was a lead FBI agent investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, said in a text message to FBI lawyer Lisa Page: “Went to a Southern Virginia Wal-Mart. I can smell the Trump support.”