This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Trump of bribery and stated it is an impeachable offense.
“I am saying what the president has admitted to and said it’s perfect — it’s perfectly wrong. It’s bribery. The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That’s bribery.”
Over the last few months, Democrats have accused Trump of committing two quid pro quos, which triggered the House’s impeachment inquiry.
The first allegation states that Trump offered to meet with President Zelensky in the Oval Office if Zelensky agreed to open an investigation into former Vice-President Joe Biden. Trump suspects that Biden used his power during his time as Vice-President to force Ukraine to fire a prosecutor in order to protect his son, Hunter Biden.
The second accusation is that the Trump administration would only release millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine if the Ukrainians agreed to the investigation against Biden.
Why Did Pelosi and Democrats Stop Talking About a Quid Pro Quo?
How do you message something that the public doesn’t understand?
Therein lies the problem for Democrats. However, because impeachment seems to be more about political revenge than about pursuing justice, the real issue isn’t just about conveying a message about “quid pro quo.” The real question at hand is this:
Would Americans accept tossing out a president from office over a term they can’t say, would never use, or don’t know what it means?
Democrats know they need to change the way they are branding Trump if they hope to gain public support for impeachment. If they don’t, they risk losing the public and the 2020 election.
Thus far, the needle isn’t shifting and Dems know there has to be a better way to say it other than Trump committed a quid pro quo. According to the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, since the impeachment hearings started on Wednesday Trump’s job approval rating has gone up from 48% to 50%.
That is enough to worry Democrats.
Bribery Is a Part of Impeachment in the Constitution
A quid pro quo is not a condition for impeachment in the Constitution. But, bribery is explicitly stated.
Article 2, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution says: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
To make it easier for the American people to understand, Pelosi is aligning the Democratic message with what is explicitly stated in the Constitution about impeachment. Bribery is not only a constitutional term, but it’s also one people can sink their teeth into whether the taste is bitter or sweet.
Where Is the Bribe?
During Wednesday’s impeachment hearing, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) asked Ambassador William Taylor and senior State Department official George Kent if either of them could state a single impeachable offense.
“Was there anything in President Trump’s July 25th phone call that was impeachable,” Radcliffe asked. Neither one of them responded with an answer.
Yet, Pelosi insists there is an impeachable offense.
“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… The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections — that’s bribery.”
The challenge for Pelosi and the Democrats is that Trump never threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine in the July 25th call. In fact, the Ukrainians say they didn’t know the aid had been held up until August.
During the testimony on Wednesday, Taylor said that he was “pleased” with Trump’s support for Ukraine and acknowledged that Obama refused to provide Ukraine with weapons to defend against Russia.
Again, where is the bribe?
Pelosi and the Democrats are in trouble. They can’t seem to get their message straight.
Is it a quid pro quo or is it bribery?
When the Left has to change words to simplify their message, they know they’re losing.
Pelosi and the Democrats are having a hard time making a case that can garner enough bipartisan support for impeachment in the House. Let alone a measure to remove the president in the Senate.
Pelosi’s only hope right now is to simplify the Democratic message to persuade the public or risk losing the impeachment battle and the 2020 election.
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