She said the reinvigorated impeachment quest would put aside allegations that spurred previous impeachment calls, including accusations the Trump 2016 campaign colluded with Russia or that the president obstructed justice with attempts to thwart special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
For now, they’ve honed in on a whistleblower allegation that Mr. Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
“The consensus in our caucus is that our focus now is on this allegation,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters. “This is the focus of the moment because this is the charge. All of the other work that remains … those things will be considered later.”
News reports about the whistleblower complaint triggered a tidal wave of support for impeachment among Democrats, with dozens of moderate hold-outs coming forward since Monday.
Mrs. Pelosi this week announced a “formal impeachment inquiry.” However, she did not set a timeline for the investigation and said the process would depend on the outcome of an Intelligence Committee investigation.
“The facts will determine the timeline,” she said.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy argued Mrs. Pelosi owed the public an apology for rushing ahead on impeachment.
“She opened the impeachment inquiry without seeing one word of evidence. In what world is that responsible?” he said.
Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, said that no other president has had to release a transcript of his calls and slammed the whistleblower complaint because it lacked a first-hand account of what transpired.
The president’s request for a “favor” on the call was being misinterpreted — it was not a quid pro quo, Mr. McCarthy argued, but a “perfectly legal” request for Ukraine to join an open investigation into actions in the 2016 election.
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