Trump row with Democrats takes harsh turn with impeachment at stake





Washington (AFP) - US President Donald Trump doubled down Friday on his claim of an "attempted coup" against him as his battle with Democratic foes entered a vicious new phase of personal insults and strong-arm tactics.

Hovering over it all: the looming question of whether or not the Republican leader will be impeached -- "the big I-word," as Trump put it recently.

The president said he has given his attorney general wide latitude to declassify intelligence information as he probes the origins of the government's investigation into Trump's 2016 campaign ties to Russia.

"They will be able to see ... how the hoax or witch hunt started and why it started," he told reporters as he departed on a trip to Japan. "It was an attempted coup or an attempted takedown of the president of the United States."

"There's word and rumor that the FBI and others were involved, CIA were involved with the UK, having to do with the Russian hoax," he said, adding that he might talk to the outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May about it.

"We're exposing everything," he added.

Trump's bid to turn the tables on his political opponents comes amid an escalating constitutional clash of powers with the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

House Democratic leaders have launched numerous probes aimed at getting evidence gathered during Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 22-month probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign -- only to be stonewalled by the White House.

That has raised calls by Democrats to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump.

In an odd turn however, it has been House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump's congressional nemesis, who has pumped the brakes on impeachment -- even as she accuses the president of a potentially impeachable cover-up.

The president, for his part, is daring his opponents to initiate proceedings against him -- confident that an impeachment by the House would most certainly be blocked in the Republican-controlled Senate.

"'If they try to Impeach President Trump, who has done nothing wrong (No Collusion), they will end up getting him re-elected,'" the president wrote Friday, approvingly retweeting a warning to Democrats by a fellow Republican, Senator Lindsey Graham.

- Cutting words -

Trump, meanwhile, is pulling out the stops in the fight for political supremacy as the country heads toward the 2020 presidential election.

On Thursday, he gave Attorney General William Barr sweeping and unprecedented new authorities to investigate the investigators of his 2016 campaign's ties to Russia -- directing all US intelligence agencies to "quickly and fully cooperate" with Barr's review.

The intelligence agencies had previously rebuffed, on national security grounds, declassification demands by Republican lawmakers seeking to spotlight alleged misdeeds by investigators.

As pressure mounts, a cutting war of words has erupted between Trump and Pelosi, with each questioning the other's mental stability.

On Friday, Trump posted a video of Pelosi remarks that had been edited to mash up instances in which she stumbled over her words.

Asked why he was attacking her personally, Trump bristled: "Did you hear what she said about me long before I went after her?"

"She said terrible things, so I just responded in kind. Look, you think Nancy is the same as she was? She's not," he said.

On Thursday, speaking to a room full of farmers and ranchers who had been invited to the White House for an unrelated event on China tariffs, Trump said Pelosi -- the most senior female politician in American history -- was "a mess."

Pelosi had spent the previous few days needling Trump, claiming he threw a "temper tantrum" during a meeting with Democrats, saying she would "pray" for him, and suggesting those close to him should stage an "intervention."

"She's obviously gotten under the president's skin," House Democrat Ro Khanna told CNN.

Where this goes from here is unclear -- although there is an opportunity to lower the political temperature, with Trump off to Japan and Pelosi out of Washington next week on a holiday recess.

Pelosi must contend with a restless Democratic caucus that is divided over whether or not to impeach the president.

Progressives including Maryland congressman Jamie Raskin have argued that, in the face of White House stonewalling, the time has come to begin impeachment proceedings.

Raskin argued recently that this would consolidate the varied House inquiries in a single centralized process that would have greater standing in the inevitable court battles to come.

But Pelosi also must consider the impact of what she said would be a "very divisive" impeachment battle on some 30 vulnerable Democrats in districts carried by Trump.

Their loss in the next election could threaten her party's hold on the House, which puts Pelosi at a fateful crossroads.

COMMENTS

More Related News

President Trump imposes new sanctions on Iran as regime accuses US of 'economic' terrorism
President Trump imposes new sanctions on Iran as regime accuses US of 'economic' terrorism

The new sanctions were aimed at retaliating against Iran for shooting down a U.S. drone last week.

US Fed like a
US Fed like a 'stubborn child': Trump

US President Donald Trump on Monday renewed his attacks on the Federal Reserve, saying the central bank's reluctance to cut interest rates was standing in the way of blowout economic expansion. "Despite a Federal Reserve that doesn't know what it is doing... we are on course to have one

House Oversight threatens to subpoena Kellyanne Conway
House Oversight threatens to subpoena Kellyanne Conway

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has cited Conway for multiple violations of the Hatch Act.

North Korea says Kim receives
North Korea says Kim receives 'excellent' letter from Trump
  • World
  • 2019-06-23 05:32:40Z

The White House declined to confirm that Trump had sent a letter to Kim. It comes as nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea broke down after the failed summit between Kim and Trump in February in Vietnam.

Trump postpones nationwide immigration enforcement sweep
Trump postpones nationwide immigration enforcement sweep

President Donald Trump on Saturday delayed a nationwide immigration sweep to deport people living the United States illegally, including families, saying he would give lawmakers two weeks to work out solutions for the southern border. The move came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump on Friday

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.