A Democratic lawmaker for Connecticut on Monday said that it would be “an impeachable offense” for President Trump to discuss former Vice President Joe Biden during a phone call with the Ukrainian president.
Rep. Jim Himes said on CNN’s “New Day” that Trump is abusing the American public’s trust and U.S. resources.
“I mean, extorting a foreign leader for the purposes of getting that leader to do your political work to try to find dirt on your opponent is extortion,” Himes said. “Of course it’s an impeachable offense.”
Himes also said that the Trump administration is breaking the law by refusing to hand over the whistleblower report — said to be centered on Trump’s phone call — to Congress.
“This is all starting to sound a little Nixonian,” he said.
The Connecticut representative said he’s supported impeachment since he concluded obstruction of justice counts were present in the Mueller report. But he said he thinks new revelations will escalate impeachment talks.
“I can’t tell you the House will move into impeachment mode right away, but this really ups the ante,” he said.
He added that he does not think Democratic House leaders will take action on impeachment if they think it will diminish the chances of removing Trump from the White House in the 2020 election.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been cautious on moving forward with impeachment but on Sunday said in a letter that the whistleblower report could prompt a “new stage of the investigation.”
The Washington Post has reported the whistleblower report centered on a call between the president and a foreign leader, said to be the president of Ukraine. On Sunday, Trump suggested that he discussed Biden in that call.
Trump has also said he’s considering the release of a transcript of the phone call.
There has been no evidence so far to implicate Biden or his son in illegal activities in Ukraine.