House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is among those fed up with Republicans’ endless rounds of capitulation to President Donald Trump and his agenda. Although the Democratic House majority that she leads has launched an impeachment inquiry in response to Trump trying to get Ukraine to dig up political dirt on the Bidens, a number of Congressional Republicans are still struggling with the question of if it’s even wrong for a president to ask a foreign government for political help. This Friday, Pelosi tweeted a link to an Associated Press recap of the situation, demanding in a caption that Republicans in Congress get back to the basics here and recognize the reality of the situation.
‘There’s a simple question at the heart of our inquiry: is it Ok for a President to pressure foreign governments to undermine our elections for his political gain? Republican Members of Congress should consult their oath on this question.’
There’s a simple question at the heart of our inquiry: is it Ok for a President to pressure foreign governments to undermine our elections for his political gain? Republican Members of Congress should consult their oath on this question.https://t.co/oidmxcT2NL
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 11, 2019
As the AP piece recounts, at least two Republican Senators have very publicly refused to answer whether it’s acceptable for a president to ask for foreign election help. Although the Senate isn’t involved at this stage of the impeachment inquiry, if the House approves articles of impeachment, the case moves to the Senate for a “trial.”
Showing how that might play out if it happens, Colorado’s Cory Gardner gave only non-answers to the simple yes or no question of whether soliciting foreign election help is appropriate, and so did Iowa’s Joni Ernst. Both of them pointed to a Senate Intel Committee investigation into the situation as the real authority that should be consulted. Notably, both of them are also up for re-election in 2020, and while the Cook Political Report rates Ernst’s seat as “Likely Republican” for now, they call Gardner’s seat a toss-up. Putting two and two together to see their dismissal of basic legal norms to boost their political stature among Republicans isn’t that hard.
A handful of Republicans in Congress have expressed some variation of “deep concern” or whatever about the situation. These include Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), and Rob Portman (Ohio). Acknowledging the basic reality of a situation shouldn’t be the bar that we hold these people too, though.
Check out Twitter’s response…
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