Trump lashed out at Democrats on his latest trip abroad, suggesting the House impeachment inquiry 'wasn't supposed to be used that way.'
Donald Trump attacked Democrats on Tuesday for following the impeachment process laid out in the U.S. Constitution by America's founders.
During a press event, Trump accused Democrats of being "unpatriotic" for moving forward with their impeachment inquiry, which is focused on Trump's broader actions toward Ukraine.
"I think it's very unpatriotic of the Democrats to put on a performance where they do that," Trump said about the impeachment process. "I think it's a bad thing for our country. Impeachment wasn't supposed to be used that way."
Trump went on to defend his phone calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, now at the center of the impeachment inquiry, claiming they were "perfect."
On one of those calls, Trump asked Zelenskiy for "a favor" — to launch an investigation into his domestic political opponents, specifically former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as a debunked conspiracy theory about the Democratic National Committee. Trump has suggested previously that the partial transcript of that call exonerates him of any wrongdoing.
Trump made the comments while attending a NATO gathering in London.
House Democrats launched their current impeachment inquiry, led by the Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees, back in September, to determine whether Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his rivals constituted impeachable offenses.
The investigation has so far included both closed-door and public depositions, conducted by the Intelligence Committee, with multiple officials familiar with various parts of the Ukraine controversy. At each stage, House Republicans have had the opportunity to participate and question those witnesses.
The investigation was sparked by a whistleblower complaint about Trump's July 25 call with Zelenskiy. That complaint has so far been largely corroborated.
The inquiry has also found ample evidence that the Trump administration withheld critical military aid to Ukraine and used the possibility of a crucial White House meeting to secure the investigations Trump wanted. It is illegal to solicit or accept election interference from foreign countries, according to the Federal Elections Commission.
The Judiciary Committee will now take the evidence gathered by the Intelligence Committee and determine if articles of impeachment should be recommended to the full House.
Trump has a longstanding habit of accusing anyone who disagrees with his actions of being disloyal to United States.
Back in September, Trump suggested the anonymous Ukraine whistleblower was a traitor who should be put to death. He claimed anyone who worked to inform the whistleblower — whom Republicans have tried repeatedly to unmask — was also a spy.
"You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right?" Trump said at the time. "The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now."
Treason is one of the crimes listed in the Constitution as punishable by death.
Trump has also regularly called media outlets "enemies of the people" when they reported facts that were unflattering to Trump.
Earlier this year, Trump also embraced a racist trope, saying Rep. Ilham Omar (D-MN) and three other congresswomen of color, who had all called out Trump's racist policies previously, should "go back" to their home countries. Omar, an American citizen, was born in Somalia, and came to the United States as a refugee when she was a child.
In addition to lashing out at Democrats who are upholding their oath to the Constitution, Trump has tried other ways to undermine the legitimacy of the impeachment investigation. In mid-November, he declared the impeachment investigation something "the founders never thought possible, and the founders didn't want."
In reality, the founders debated the impeachment process and decided to put it in Article I of the Constitution.
Trump has also suggested — on multiple occasions — that the Supreme Court could somehow intervene and stop the impeachment process, but has not suggested any rational way for such an intervention to happen.
Trump has not called Republicans unpatriotic.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.