Democrats Accuse Trump of 'Bribery' Despite Dropping it From Articles of Impeachment
Many of the Democrats’ own witnesses testified they saw no bribery
Democrats attempted to accuse President Donald Trump of “bribery” in the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, despite not including it among the two articles of impeachment.
Earlier this week, House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against the president over his contacts with Ukraine; these include 'abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.'
Jerry Nadler said before announcing the articles of impeachment:
“Today, in the service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Judiciary Committee is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the President of the United States of committing high crimes and misdemeanors."
“It is an impeachable offense for a president to use the powers of his office to seek a personal benefit,” Nadler added.
The reason for the absence of bribery in the impeachment articles is because there is no evidence.
Many of the Democrats’ own witnesses in the House Intelligence Committee’s hearings last month also testified they had personally seen no evidence of bribery.
In November, impeachment witnesses Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a top National Security Council official who was present at President Donald Trump's Ukraine phone call, gave testimonies on Tuesday confirming no bribery, no quid pro quo, and no extortion.
Yet, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who had participated in those hearings, tried to sneak in the accusation during the Judiciary Committee’s markup of the articles.
“Since my colleagues keep bringing up what potential crimes you could charge a president with, let’s go through some of them, because President Trump’s conduct overlaps with criminal acts,” Swalwell said.
“Let’s start with criminal bribery,” he added.
Swalwell’s point about “bribery" was later echoed by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA).
But Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) pushed back.
“So many people here have been screaming about the president’s crimes, and we’re even hearing today — like we just did — ‘Oh, yes, there were crimes.’ Then why aren’t they in this impeachment document? It’s because they don’t exist.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) called out Swalwell’s effort to allege crimes that were not present in the articles.
“I heard earlier, my friend from California, Mr. Swalwell, list out all these crimes. If I'm watching at home, I’m thinking, well, where are they in the impeachment? That is just a Democrat ‘drive-by,’ to go and list crimes that you don’t allege and that you don’t have evidence for.”
“[T]hey’re naming crimes in debate that they don’t even have in their impeachment resolution because they can’t prove them because there are no underlying facts.”
He accused Democrats of playing “pin the tail on your favorite impeachment theory,” because none of their allegations could be proven on its own.