Impeachment is about the July 25th call between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky, right? It is about Trump withholding financial aid unless the Ukrainian government launches an investigation into former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, right? That’s what the American people have been told, but speaking to a group of reporters on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the effort was actually—and still—about Russia.
Pelosi said the current effort to impeach President Trump was “not about Ukraine,” despite months of congressional actions suggesting the opposite.
In an op-ed with the Washington Examiner, conservative columnist Byron York said the congressional Democrats involved with impeachment “accused Trump of denying Ukraine ‘desperately needed,’ ‘critical’ aid as a way of getting dirt on a political opponent. They said he was guilty of a quid pro quo, then extortion, and then, after conducting a focus group to find a charge that would have the greatest impact, they accused him of bribery.”
“Now, after three months of focusing like a laser beam on Ukraine, they have returned to … Russia,” he added.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Pelosi tried to address the criticism that Democrats are rushing toward impeachment. Pelosi and her party have tried various explanations for their haste. She once said Democrats needed to strike while the iron was hot. Then, in recent days, Democrats have said the president must be immediately impeached because if he is not removed from office, he will meddle in the upcoming election — that is, he poses an imminent threat to the nation.
But on Thursday, Pelosi said Democrats have not acted in haste at all, because the current Ukraine investigation is actually a continuation of the two-and-a-half-year Russia investigation. In fact, it’s not about Ukraine at all. It’s still about Russia.
Pelosi then said plainly: “It’s about Russia.”
“Who benefited by our withholding — withholding of that military assistance? Russia,” she continued. “It’s about Russia. Russia invading eastern Ukraine. Over 10,000 people, now maybe 13,000, some of them in the absence of our conveying that military assistance that was voted in a bipartisan way by the Congress of the United States. So sometimes people say, ‘Well, I don’t know about Ukraine. I don’t know that much about Ukraine.’ Well, our adversary in this is Russia. All roads lead to Putin. Understand that.”
Whether the impeachment process is about Russia or Ukraine—collusion, extortion, bribery, or corruption—the American people may never know. That is, until a final vote is held on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Good take from @ByronYork.
Dems keep changing how they sell impeachment.
First Russia, then Ukraine.
“Quid pro quo” then “extortion” then “bribery.”
Focus-grouped along the way.
Now Russia again.
Uh, maybe it’s just a product Americans don’t want.https://t.co/dH8R70tGdF
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) December 7, 2019