President Trump faced fresh calls for impeachment on Friday after a new report claimed Trump asked the president of Ukraine numerous times in a single phone call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that, in a July phone call, Trump repeatedly asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani on a probe into Hunter Biden. The call came a month before Trump put a hold on $250 million in military aid to Ukraine -- a hold that was eventually released after objections from the Senate.
Joe Biden, now a Democratic presidential candidate, has faced scrutiny for months over his past role pressuring the country to fire its top prosecutor while he was leading a corruption investigation into a natural gas company that had ties to Hunter. Giuliani has suggested that Biden, as VP, worked to protect the company from investigation. Biden said on Friday that the claim has no credibility.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., renewed his impeachment calls on Friday, accusing Trump of "moral vandalism." "This story is stunning and should be shaking Washington right now -- Donald Trump's moral vandalism disqualifies him from being president. As I've said before, it's time for impeachment proceedings," he tweeted.
Fellow 2020 contender Beto O'Rouke had already called for impeachment in reaction to statements made by Rudy Giuliani, Trump's attorney, on Thursday night. "When will Congress have the courage to act?" he asked in an apparent dig at leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, claimed the House had "no choice" but to impeach after the Journal's report surfaced.
"Everything Nixon did during Watergate pales in comparison to Trump using the power of the Presidency to pressure a foreign leader who needs U.S. Aid to investigate a political opponent," Pfeiffer said.
The whistleblower controversy seemed to raise even more concerns among the 2020 field, many of whom already called for the president's impeachment.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., called on Friday for the whistleblower to come forward, offering protection as he defied the administration. She also suggested that Trump was trying to interfere in the 2020 election like, according to her, he did in 2016.
"He has openly invited interference and now we have information that suggests that again, he is engaged in that kind of behavior," she said at a campaign stop. "What he fails to understand is that he is the President of the United States and that office ... is the people's office -- not his office," she added.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., didn't directly address the report on Twitter but did dispute Trump's attorneys' claims that he couldn't be criminally prosecuted.
"Yes, he can," she tweeted on Friday after the Journal's report surfaced. Trump, for his part, has denied any wrongdoing.
"The Radical Left Democrats and their Fake News Media partners, headed up again by Little Adam Schiff, and batting Zero for 21 against me, are at it again!" he tweeted, referring to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. "They think I may have had a 'dicey' conversation with a certain foreign leader based on a 'highly partisan' whistleblowers ... statement."
"Strange that with so many other people hearing or knowing of the perfectly fine and respectful conversation, that they would not have also come forward. Do you know the reason why they did not? Because there was nothing said wrong, it was pitch perfect!" he added.