Two Democrats Mention 'Bribery' As Possible Reason to Impeach Trump

Susan Jones | November 4, 2019 | 7:49am EST
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Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) speaks at the Lincoln Memorial during the final stage of a voting rights march from Selma, Alabama to Washington, D.C., September 15, 2015. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) speaks at the Lincoln Memorial during the final stage of a voting rights march from Selma, Alabama to Washington, D.C., September 15, 2015. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

( - The desire to impeach President Donald Trump requires a solid basis to do so, and if "quid pro quo" isn't enough, how about "bribery?"

Two Democrats used that word on different Sunday talk shows.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) raised "bribery" in a conversation with CNN's "State of the Union," hosted by Dana Bash.

Bash told Clyburn, "The Constitution says, as you know, that the president must be impeached for -- quote -- 'treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.' Which of those did the president commit?"

"Well, I have no idea," Clyburn responded:

And that's why we're doing this investigation.

What I'm saying is, there seems to be an indication that something was going on here. There could be high crimes and misdemeanors taking place. There might even be bribery taking place.

That's why you have an investigation. And that's what we're doing here. And starting this week, we are going to release these transcripts for people to see and read for themselves. We're going to have public hearings starting maybe this week or next.

And we will get to the bottom of this, and then we will be able to make a determination at that time whether or not something happened that was treasonous.

I have talked to a lot of people since I have been home who believe that it's treasonous on the part of this president. They certainly believe some crimes have been committed.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), a member of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, was asked by CBS's "Face the Nation" if she thinks the articles of impeachment will ultimately include things other than Ukraine:

"I'm not sure," Speier replied. "I mean there could -- it could include obstruction of Congress. I think that you can make a case for bribery now. And I think that discussion needs to be seriously developed and considered because there was an effort to try to seek to get something of value from Mr. Zelensky, the president of Ukraine."

Speier said, "There's no question now whether there was a quid pro quo. And now the question that the Republicans are trying to throw out is, well, was there corrupt intent? Well, corrupt intent is defined in part by whether or not the president has lied. And he has lied over and over again that there was no quid pro quo. There was no this for that. But there was a this for that.

"He was withholding money from Ukraine. Here they are defending themselves against the Russians, holding as much as $400 million, waiting for them to come out publicly and say that they would investigate the Bidens and look into this phony server issue. So it's the first time that you -- we've seen this kind of abuse of power by a president and -- for personal gain. And that's what is so remarkable about all of this."

In his July 25 phone call with the Ukraine president, Trump did not say he would withhold U.S. military aid unless the Ukrainians gave him dirt on Joe Biden, although that is how Democrats have framed the conversation.

The summary of Trump's phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky can be read here in its entirety.

At the beginning of that call, President Zelensky told Trump, "[W]e are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government .. You are a great teacher for us and in that."

The "swamp" that Trump supposedly drained is now rising up against him, with the full support of Democrats and the liberal media.

The part of the phone call that sent Democrats into impeachment overdrive was this:

Trump said: "The other thing, 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. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it ... It sounds horrible to me."

Biden bragged that he used a billion-dollar loan guarantee as leverage to get a Ukraine prosecutor fired. Biden denies the firing had anything to do with his son Hunter's position on the board of a Ukraine gas company.

Here is what Joe Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations in 2018, as he reminisced about his 2016 visit, as sitting vice president, to Ukraine:

And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

So they said they had — they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to — or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said — I said, call him. I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.


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