Impeachment watch: Pelosi asks Trump for evidence of his innocence — if he has any

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Also, public hearings resume on Friday with former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that Trump's behavior with regard to Ukraine amounted to bribery, a crime explicitly laid out as an impeachable offense in the Constitution.

"The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry, and that the president abused his 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 — a clear attempt by the president to give himself an advantage in the 2020 election," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill.

Pelosi also said Trump is free to submit any evidence that he did not commit bribery, which she said he has yet to prove.

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"If the president has something that is exculpatory — Mr. President, that means you have anything that shows your innocence — then he should make that known," Pelosi said, a biting comment questioning Trump's intelligence. "So far, we haven't seen that."

Here's what else is happening in impeachment news:

  • Public hearings resume on Friday, when Marie Yovanovitch will testify about the smear campaign that led to her removal from her role as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani helped lead the effort to oust Yovanovitch, who stood in the way of Trump's attempt to extort Ukraine into conducting investigations into his political rivals.
  • While Yovanovitch publicly testifies, another key impeachment witness will be deposed behind closed doors. David Holmes, a U.S. official at the American embassy in Ukraine, will tell investigators about a phone call he overheard between Trump and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland about forcing Ukraine to announce investigations into Trump.
  • Holmes isn't the only person who overheard that damning phone call between Trump and Sondland: Suriya Jayanti, another United States official working in the American embassy in Ukraine, also overheard the conversation.
  • It has already been reported that Giuliani is under federal investigation. However now we know more about what he's being investigated for. According to Bloomberg News, federal prosecutors are investigating Giuliani for campaign finance violations, bribing foreign officials, and failing to register as a foreign agent.

Come back next week for more impeachment news.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.