President Trump is trying to turn lemons into lemonade amid the House Democratic impeachment push against him.
Trump’s campaign on Wednesday sent out a fundraising email that slams House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other House Democrats for launching an impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower’s complaint suggesting Trump sought the help of a foreign government in his bid for re-election.
“This is just another smear job and a pathetic attempt by Democrats to rip the power from the people,” the Trump campaign email stated. “I’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG. TRUST ME, YOU SAW THE TRANSCRIPT.”
The White House on Wednesday released a transcript of Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky showing Trump broached a review of Biden family dealings in the country. The memo begins with the president congratulating Zelensky on his election victory, before Trump eventually touches on the subject former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said in the phone call. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…It sounds horrible to me.”
This refers to Joe Biden, while vice president, urging Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings — where Hunter Biden was on the board. Biden has maintained that corruption concerns prompted his intervention.
In the fundraising email, the Trump campaign calls the impeachment inquiry a “witch hunt” – a term frequently used by the president during the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election – and announces his campaign’s “Impeachment Defense Task Force.” The email does not go into details about what the task force will do or who will head it up.
“The Democrats’ constant personal attacks, vicious lies, and now these baseless impeachment attacks, have never had anything to do with me,” the email from the Trump campaign said. “This is only the beginning of yet ANOTHER nasty Witch Hunt against me, and we need to fight back BIGGER and STRONGER than ever before.”
The Trump campaign's manager, Brad Parscale, released a separate statement Wednesday saying, "The facts prove the President did nothing wrong. This is just another hoax from Democrats and the media, contributing to the landslide re-election of President Trump in 2020.”
In her remarks Tuesday, Pelosi specifically charged that the Trump administration had violated the law by not turning over a whistleblower complaint concerning Trump's July call with Zelensky. Citing testimony that the director of national intelligence was blocking the release of that complaint, she said: "This is a violation of law. The law is unequivocal."
"This week, the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically," Pelosi said. "Therefore, today, I'm announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I'm directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella.
"The president must be held accountable," she continued. "No one is above the law."
Fox News Alex Pappas and Gregg Re contributed to this report.