In a stern response to the White House's letter saying it refuses to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accused President Trump of trying to "normalize lawlessness" and "cover up his betrayal of our democracy."
The inquiry was launched after a whistleblower complaint was filed in August by a person concerned about a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump asked Zelensky to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. On Tuesday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to House Democrats, claiming that there is "no legitimate basis" for the inquiry and it is merely an attempt to "reverse the election of 2016 and to influence the election of 2020." Because of this, Trump "cannot participate in" the probe.
Cipollone's letter is "manifestly wrong, and is simply another attempt to hide the facts of the Trump administration's brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections," Pelosi said. "Despite the White House's stonewalling, we see a growing body of evidence that shows that President Trump abused his office and violated his oath to 'protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution.'"
Trump has spent the last few years attempting to "normalize lawlessness," Pelosi said, and is now "trying to make lawlessness a virtue." His actions not only "threaten our security," she continued, but also "violate our Constitution" and "undermine the integrity of our elections." It needs to be made clear above all that "continued efforts to hide the truth of the president's abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction," Pelosi said. "Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable." Catherine Garcia
After the publication of a graphic photo showing two migrant deaths at the border, former congressman Beto O'Rourke took aim at President Trump.
A disturbing picture of Salvadoran migrants, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, lying in shallow water at the Rio Grande was published by The Associated Press on Tuesday after originating from the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, and it quickly gained viral attention. Ramírez and his wife and daughter had reportedly tried swimming across the river because his family could not request asylum. The Trump administration has limited the number of migrants who can request asylum per day.
O'Rourke in response placed the blame right on Trump, linking to the Associated Press story while writing, "Trump is responsible for these deaths." He also said that the administration's refugee policy comes "at the expense of our humanity, not to the benefit of our safety."
As his administration refuses to follow our laws -- preventing refugees from presenting themselves for asylum at our ports of entry -- they cause families to cross between ports, ensuring greater suffering & death. At the expense of our humanity, not to the benefit of our safety.
Other 2020 Democrats similarly spoke out on the photo while not being quite as direct as O'Rourke, with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) writing that denying asylum to families fleeing violence is "inhumane" and that "this is a stain on our moral conscience," while former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro called the photo "absolutely heartbreaking" and called for immigration reform.
The White House hasn't commented on the photo, but Trump on Wednesday morning tweeted that Democrats "want Open Borders, which equals violent crime, drugs and human trafficking." Brendan Morrow