Within the last week, a second whistleblower complaint has been filed and more politicians turn to impeachment.
The impeachment inquiry on President Donald Trump began on Sept. 26, and within the last week it has picked up both speed and power.
The first act of the inquiry was the subpoena of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, issued on Sept. 27, asking for documents and witnesses that could explain the situation. Pompeo purposefully missed the Oct. 4 deadline of the subpoena and accused the House Democrats of harassing the State Department. Pompeo stated that “we’ll obviously do all that we are required to do by the law” without elaborating precisely that that meant.
On Monday, Sept. 30, the House Democrats subpoenaed the White House, giving them an Oct. 18 deadline to produce documents and communications that are highly delicate. The subpoena stressed the Vice President’s involvement in the events of the Ukraine call.
The hopes of this subpoena is to uncover the events of the Ukrainian phone call and any attempts that might have gone underway to cover it up. A subpoena to the Vice President is unusual, and Pence’s office quickly signaled that the Vice President may not comply with the subpoena.
Also on Sept. 30, the president stated that he is not worried about an impeachment. He pointed to the division between the Democrat-run House and the Republican-run Senate. He believes that the House may issue an impeachment but that the Senate will acquit him.
However, Repubilcan Senator Mark Amodei of Nevada came out as being open to the investigation saying they need to “follow the facts” and figure out exactly what happened. He received backlash from his party, but more Republicans, including Mitt Romney, are taking his stance on this issue as the investigation continues. Locally, Oklahoma Senator James Lankford predicts that Trump will be impeached before the end of the year, after previously believing the attempt would fail.
Mike Pompeo, on Oct. 2, admitted to being present during the original Ukraine call. This was the first time he confirmed being present for the call. Later when asked if he heard anything that gave him concern he changed the subject saying he “knows precisely what the American policy is with respect to Ukraine.”
Text messages between top U.S. diplomats in Ukraine were released on Oct. 3, creating more evidence pointing towards the whistleblower complaint. The texts showed evidence of a meeting at the White House between Trump and the Ukrainian president being set up if Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to investigate Hunter Biden. The texts also questioned the freezing of $391 million in military aid towards Ukraine, with one diplomat believing it was directly tied to the Biden investigation.
Bill Taylor, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, wrote to Kurt D. Volker, the former special envoy for Ukraine, on Sept. 9, saying, “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” Volkner stepped down from his position after the impeachment inquiry began.
The texts were explosive and showed that U.S. diplomats took months to carry out the president’s demands for a call with Zelensky. The texts were released by Volker after an almost 10-hour deposition with committee staff. Trump continues to deny a quid pro quo, but many believe the texts say otherwise.
Trump also called on China to investigate Biden as he left the White House on Thursday, claiming that, “what happened in China is about as bad as what happened with the Ukraine.”
Many at this point feel that the evidence of Trump using his power to interfere in the next election is irrefusable and no longer defendable.
Reportedly, a second intelligence official is considering filing another whistleblower complaint against Trump. This official was purportedly closer to the situation and has more information. The inspector general questioned this person about the first whistleblower complaint to confirm the events described in it. This second whistleblower accusation would further confirm the initial accusation and help settle the matter about the first’s political bias.
While Trump remains on his stance that the impeachment doesn’t have a leg to stand on, Nancy Pelosi continues to push for the investigation. Pelosi warned the White House that if they do not comply with the investigation it will be viewed as obstruction of Congress, which in itself can be an impeachable offense.