House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that President Donald Trump has already admitted to bribery in the Ukraine scandal at the heart of a Democratic-led inquiry, accusing him of an impeachable offence under the United States Constitution.
“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,” Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, told a news conference on Thursday, the day after the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry she announced in September.
“What the president has admitted to and says it’s ‘perfect’, I say it’s perfectly wrong. It’s bribery,” Pelosi said.
Democrats are looking into whether the Republican president abused his power by withholding $391m in US security aid to Ukraine as leverage to pressure Kyiv to conduct two investigations that would benefit him politically.
The money, approved by Congress to help a US ally combat Russia-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country, was later provided to Ukraine.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing.