MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Democrats say they now have enough votes to impeach President Trump after the public release of this explosive whistleblower complaint accusing the president of an abuse of power.
The whistleblower accuses President Trump of pressuring Ukraine to interfere with the 2020 elections, and then covering up the evidence.
At an acrimonious meeting of the House Intelligence Committee, Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire defended withholding the complaint from Congress.
He said he fully complied with all laws, and would not reveal if he had discussed it with the president.
“My conversations with the president, because I am the director of national intelligence, are privileged,” Maguire said.
The nine-page document says President Trump asked Ukraine to investigate his Democratic political rival Joe Biden. And the White House hid the evidence by “locking down” all the phone records in a separate computer usually reserved for classified documents.
Democratic Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff accused the president of an illegal abuse of power.
“Yesterday, we were presented with the most graphic evidence yet that the President of the States has betrayed his oath of office; betrayed his oath to defend our national security; and betrayed his oath to defend our constitution,” Schiff said.
The president describes his dealings with Ukraine as “perfect.”
Lashing out on Twitter, calling the impeachment probe “fake news,” a “witch hunt” and a “Democrat scam.” He told reporters it’s all “made up.”
“What these guys are doing, Democrats are doing to this country, is a disgrace and it shouldn’t be allowed. There should be a way of stopping it, maybe legally through the courts, but they’re going to tie up our country,” Trump said.
The White House said in a statement it will push back on “hysteria and false narratives,” and the president told staffers at the U.S. mission at the UN that he wants to know who the whistleblower is. He mentioned “punishment for spies and treason.”