Republicans come out swinging in defence of Trump after House Democrats launch impeachment inquiry
- Republicans came out swinging in defence of President Donald Trump after House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against him on Tuesday, as it thrust the president on a collision course with Congress over how he's wielded power in Washington.
- The decision from Democrats to start proceedings came at a remarkable speed after recent reports that Trump tried pressuring Ukraine into probing former Vice President Joe Biden and his son on unsubstantiated corruption allegations.
- Republicans hardly broke ranks, and they vigorously defended Trump's conduct.
- And they cast House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's move to jump-start the proceedings as one fueled by hatred of Trump and a desire to rob him of his 2016 election victory.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Republicans came out swinging in defence of President Donald Trump after House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against him on Tuesday, as it thrust the president on a collision course with Congress over how he's wielded power in Washington.
The decision from Democrats to start proceedings followed recent reports that Trump tried pressuring Ukraine into probing former Vice President Joe Biden and his son on unsubstantiated corruption allegations. Several days before the July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump slammed the brakes on a $400 million military-aid package for the country, according to The Washington Post. The president maintains he acted appropriately.
Republicans hardly broke ranks, and they vigorously defended Trump's conduct. They cast House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's move to jump-start the proceedings as one fuelled by hatred of Trump and a desire to rob him of his 2016 election victory.
Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump's staunchest supporters and a ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement that Pelosi's decision to pursue an impeachment inquiry shows only how she has "finally succumbed to unrelenting pressure from the socialist wing of the Democratic Party."
"This was never about Russian collusion or Ukrainian prosecutions. It is all about undoing the 2016 election and the will of the American people," Jordan said.
That sentiment was echoed by Rep. Steve Scalise, the Republican whip in the House. "It's pathetic and disgraceful that after the Mueller report showed there was no collusion, Speaker Pelosi continues to advance this impeachment witch hunt, now relying on unconfirmed, secondhand accusations," Scalise said in a statement.
Others like Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana tried downplaying the significance of the impeachment proceedings. In a colorful and combative interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, Kennedy backed Trump's effort to start an investigation into the Bidens on their dealings in Ukraine.
The GOP's staunch support of Trump reflects a key challenge for Democrats as they proceed with impeachment proceedings in the House: Most Republicans are unlikely to turn against him, given his widespread popularity among GOP voters. Trump held a 91% approval rating among them in the first half of September, according to recent a Gallup poll.
Still, there was a rare unanimous vote in the Senate calling on Trump to release a whistleblower complaint his administration had refused to disclose to Congress, which is said to involve Trump's conversation with the Ukrainian leader. Negotiations are underway between White House and intelligence officials to allow the individual - who hasn't been identified - to speak with congressional investigators.
In the Senate, only one Republican has mildly rebuked Trump publicly over the Ukraine scandal so far: Sen. Mitt Romney, who was also the party's 2012 presidential nominee. On Sunday, Romney tweeted that "it would be troubling in the extreme" if Trump tried pressuring a foreign power into probing his political rival.
Receive a daily email with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- A massive, rare blue diamond has just been found outside Pretoria
- This is what braai essentials cost at Checkers, Pick n Pay, Spar and Shoprite - and you might be paying too much for Pepsi
- This is SA’s favourite restaurant in Cape Town, Durban and Joburg, according to OrderIn
- A Thomas Cook flight attendant says she only learned that the company collapsed and she lost her job on Facebook
- The G-spot is a dangerous myth ruining women's sex lives, according to the doctor behind 'The Vagina Bible'
- Take a look: this is the 'Aerotropolis' that Durban’s government hopes will bring in R1 trillion in investment
- The US and Saudi Arabia are searching for a 'smoking gun' among wrecked weapons that will conclusively link Iran to the attacks on Saudi oil sites