(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a news conference on Thursday that impeachment is something Democrats are doing with a "heavy heart," as a matter of "patriotism," because they must uphold their oath of office.
She accused President Trump of "bribery," and she noted, "It's in the Constitution."
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution says: "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
"You talked about bribery a second ago. That's a very serious charge," a reporter told Pelosi.
"It's in the Constitution," Pelosi said.
"What makes it a case of bribery?" the reporter asked.
Pelosi responded: "Well, you know, we're talking Latin around here, e plurius unum -- from many, one. From many, one. Quid pro quo -- bribery. Bribery. And that is in the Constitution attached to the impeachment proceedings."
"So what was the bribe here?" the reporter asked.
"The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That's bribery," Pelosi said.
For the record, the summary of Trump's July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president does not show that President Trump threatened to withhold military aid in exchange for anything, although he did say the Ukraine president would be doing him a favor by looking into alleged Ukraine efforts to work against Trump in 2016. Later in that conversation, Trump brought up the Bidens, saying that their dealings with Ukraine sounded "horrible."
As for bribery, the Ukraine president has said repeatedly he didn't even know about the hold on U.S. military aid when the call was placed. That fact was backed up by Ambassador William Taylor in Wednesday's testimony.
Asked if bribery will be one of the articles of impeachment, Pelosi said, "We don't -- we haven't even made a decision to impeach. That is what the inquiry is about. And when the committees decide that, they will decide what the articles are. What I am saying is that what the president has admitted to and says it's perfect... it's bribery."
In her opening remarks, Pelosi called Wednesday's public impeachment inquiry a "successful day for truth," and she praised "courageous" public servants for giving "devastating testimony corroborating evidence of bribery."
"The president used power and violated his oath by threatening to withhold military aid and a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into his political rival -- a clear attempt by the president to give himself the advantage in the 2020 election."
As Republicans have noted, the aid eventually flowed; President Zelensky never made a public statement about investigations; and both presidents said they were very satisfied with the phone call in which Democrats insist a bribe was made.