On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed that President Trump’s conduct in relation to Ukraine makes what former President Richard Nixon did during the Watergate scandal “look almost small.”
Pelosi appeared on a news conference on Capitol Hill, and argued that the support for having Richard Nixon removed from office did not grow until months into the House’s impeachment inquiry.
“Impeaching is a divisive thing in our country. It’s hard,” Pelosi said. “The place that our country is now, it’s not a time where you go to 70 percent when President Nixon walked out of the White House. It wasn’t there before he left, even two weeks before he left until the other shoe fell and he walked out of the door.”
“By the way, what President Trump has done on the record in terms of acting to advantage his, a foreign power to help him in his own election and the obstruction of information about that — the coverup — makes what Nixon did look almost small,” she added.
The official impeachment inquiry into former President Nixon began in February 1974, and the 37th president resigned in August of that same year after the House Judiciary Committee voted to adopt three articles of impeachment.
The Watergate scandal involved the 1972 breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., by burglars connected to the White House. Richard Nixon conspired with aides to cover-up their involvement, according to tape recordings made in the Oval Office.
Nancy Pelosi described Wednesday’s public hearings before the House Intelligence Committee as a “successful day for truth” and argued that President Trump had committed “bribery” by delaying military aid to Ukraine.
“The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry and that the president abused 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,” she said.
“A clear attempt by the president to give himself the advantage in the 2020 election,” Pelosi added.
When a reporter asked her about the witnesses only possessing secondhand knowledge of the President’s intentions regarding Ukraine aid, Nancy Pelosi dismissed the topic.
“Don’t fall into the secondhand stuff,” she said. “That is such a fraudulent proposition put forth by the Republican, that is such a fraudulent proposition and they know it, and that’s why they’re talking about process rather than the substance of what we have heard. I just won’t even dignify what they’re saying in that regard. I just won’t.”
Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor confirmed to Rep. Jim Jordan during questioning that he had no firsthand knowledge.
“My understanding is only coming from people that I talked to,” Taylor said.