Political expert: Impeachment inquiry on President Trump may backfire for Democrats

Zelensky

The controversy is over an alleged phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky where Trump is said to have pressured Ukraine's leader to investigate the business dealings of Biden's son, Hunter Biden.

Trump on Monday denied trying to coerce Zelensky in the July 25 phone call to launch a corruption investigation into Biden and his son in return for the U.S. military aid.

That sentiment, along with the fact that the Republican-controlled Senate nearly certainly would not convict Mr Trump if the Democratic-led House went so far as to impeach him, had previously weighed on Ms Pelosi, who long resisted calls from left-leaning colleagues to make a move.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who on Tuesday called for a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump to go forward, was asked about the transcript as she arrived on Capitol Hill.

Trump told the Ukrainian president "If you can look into it ... it sounds disgusting to me".

"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. In the days before the call, Trump ordered advisers to freeze $400 million in military aid for Ukraine, prompting speculation that he was holding up the money as leverage for information on the Bidens.

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President Donald Trump attends a multilateral meeting on Venezuela at the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. "No one is above the law", said Ms Pelosi, who for months had been reluctant to embrace an impeachment effort.

Trump has acknowledged that he spoke with Zelensky about corruption and about Biden.

"I'm in favor of moving toward impeachment", the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee told People Magazine in an interview published on Tuesday.

But even if the Democratic-controlled House voted to impeach Mr Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate would have to take the next step of removing him from office after a trial. But Trump never directed Barr to reach out to the Ukrainians, a Department of Justice spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal. And he and his closest allies believe that when more is known about the Biden family's involvement in Ukraine, it could damage the electoral prospects of the one candidate Trump himself has mused could peel off some his support among white working-class voters in the Midwest. Zelensky assures Trump that his government will appoint a prosecutor who "will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue".

The Trump-Ukraine phone call is part of the whistleblower's complaint, though the administration has blocked Congress from getting other details of the report, citing presidential privilege. House Democrats had considered, but never moved ahead with, pursuing articles of impeachment over Trump's actions relating to Russian interference in the 2016 USA election aimed at boosting his candidacy.

United States intelligence agencies and a special counsel named by the Justice Department previously concluded that Russian Federation boosted Trump's 2016 presidential election bid with a campaign of hacking and propaganda aimed at harming his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

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