By Melissa Leon
Published September 28, 2019
"It's in the [House Intelligence] committee. I'm not here to talk about how they will do their work [or] what their time table is," Pelosi said at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin. "It will take as long as the intelligence committee follows the facts and when they are ready."
On Tuesday, Pelosi formally announced an impeachment inquiry into Trump over his July 25 phone call with newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Democrats have claimed the president threatened to withhold $400 million in military aid unless Ukraine investigated former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and their business dealings in the country.
The probe was prompted by a complaint from an intelligence community whistleblower who accused Trump of "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election."
"What happened in that phone conversation, that a president of the United States would withhold military assistance that was paid for by taxpayer money to essentially shake down the leader of another country unless he did him a favor -- it is so clear," Pelosi said Saturday.
The president "did not see it was wrong to do that," she later said.
A memorandum of the Trump-Zelensky made public Wednesday shows that while Trump sought an investigation into the Biden family for corruption, the president did not explicitly leverage military aid.
Trump has repeatedly defended his conduct of the call with Zelensky and calls the latest Democratic probe "another witch hunt."
"The Whistleblower’s complaint is completely different and at odds from my actual conversation with the new President of Ukraine. The so-called 'Whistleblower' knew practically NOTHING in that those ridiculous charges were far more dramatic & wrong," Trump tweeted Saturday.
During a meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week, Zelensky told reporters that "nobody pushed me" during the call with Trump.
"This is very bad news for our country," Pelosi said. "If it is as it seems to be, the president engaged in something so far beyond what our founders had in mind."
Trump on Saturday issued a social media blitz attacking Democrats and the whistleblower, telling his supporters that the Democrats are "trying to stop me because I am fighting for you!"