Days after President Trump asserted he would take damaging information on his political rivals from a foreign power, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said “the pressure to impeach grows.”
“I think every day that passes, the pressure to impeach grows,” said Ocasio-Cortez Sunday in an interview on ABC News “This Week.” “I think that it’s justifiable, I think the evidence continues to come in and I believe that with the president now saying that he is willing to break the law to win reelection, that transcends partisanship, it transcends party lines, and this is now about the rule of law in the United States of America.”
The freshman Democrat called for an impeachment inquiry “to look at what’s going on,” pointing to the Mueller report that covered “10 counts of obstruction of justice, four with rock-solid evidence,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“We have violations of the emoluments clause,” she said. “We need to at least open an inquiry so that we can look at what is going on, and that is what opening an impeachment inquiry means.”
Trump in an interview last week with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos said he would accept “dirt” on his political opponents from foreign governments without necessarily alerting the FBI.
“I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump said. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
Despite the multiple efforts by Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election as detailed in throughout Mueller probe, the president said he didn’t consider a foreign power handing over information to him to be interference in U.S. election process.
“It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,” Trump said. “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI — if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, ‘oh let’s call the FBI.’ The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”
In a later interview with “Fox & Friends,” Trump attempted to clarify what he meant to be saying was that he would “absolutely” notify federal law enforcement if a foreign power presented his campaign with “incorrect or badly stated” information about an opponent.
Still, he defended his willingness to receive information and doubted a foreign source would try to give him information.
“If you don’t hear what it is, you don’t know what it is,” Trump said and added,
“I don’t think anybody would present me with anything bad because they know how much I love this country.”
“The president gave us once again evidence that he does not know right from wrong,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, responding to Trump’s original statements about accepting foreign information.
But she made clear that Trump’s stunning admission would not be the “trigger” for launching an impeachment inquiry.
“What we want to do is have a methodical approach to the path that we are on, and this will be included in that,” Pelosi said.” But not any one issue is going to trigger, ‘Oh now, we’ll go to this,’ because it’s about investigating, it’s about litigating.”
“As we go down this path to seek the truth for the American people and hold the president accountable, it has nothing to do with politics or any campaigns,” she said. “It has everything to do with patriotism, not partisanship.”