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Published: Sunday, September 29, 2019 @ 7:35 PM
— While most members of the House and Senate will be back home during an upcoming two week legislative break, the firestorm of events last week related to President Donald Trump - and Democratic plans to try to impeach the President - will not be put on hold, as House Democrats will forge ahead with the search for more evidence in coming days.
At the center of this political fight is a report from an intelligence community whistleblower, who raised red flags about what was discussed in a phone call between President Trump and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
"The whistleblower told us," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said, "Trump pressured Ukraine to manufacture dirt" on Vice President Joe Biden and his family.
Democrats want to know why details of that conversation - and other calls involving Mr. Trump - were cordoned off on a more secretive computer system, the details withheld from a usual group of foreign policy and intelligence officials.
"No wonder the IG found the whistleblower credible," Schiff said, who announced this weekend that the whistleblower would testify at some point before the House Intelligence Committee.
They are trying to stop ME, because I am fighting for YOU! pic.twitter.com/xiw4jtjkNl— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 28, 2019
Schiff's panel and other committees will also try to conduct a series of depositions with certain key officials this week, while most lawmakers are out of town.
As for the President - while he was on Twitter over the weekend slamming Democrats over the impeachment effort - Mr. Trump made his case in a video released by the White House.
"What's going on now is the single greatest scam in the history of American politics," as the President tried to steer the conversation back to conventional political issues like the economy, guns, health care and more.
"We're fighting to drain the swamp," the President said, who lashed out specifically at House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff - and the still unnamed intelligence community whistleblower.
"I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason," Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, labeling his accuser, "the so-called 'Whistleblower.'"
Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called “Whistleblower,” represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way. Then Schiff made up what I actually said by lying to Congress......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 29, 2019
Democrats said the President's tweet seemed more like witness intimidation.
"Hard to imagine a more direct threat against this whistleblower," said Tommy Vietor, a former top aide to President Obama.
Meanwhile, the Sunday morning talk shows were filled with grist for the mill about the Ukraine situation, with top Trump aide Stephen Miller making the case that Ukraine should be investigating the Biden family - as Miller labeled the whistleblower case a 'partisan hit job.'
That type of answer ran into trouble on Fox News Sunday.
"You have your non-answer" -- watch Chris Wallace grill Stephen Miller about why Trump thought it was appropriate to use his private attorney to dig up dirt on Biden -- and not let Miller get away with obfuscating. pic.twitter.com/wKr1fpIX5Z— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 29, 2019
Along with Miller, the President's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been making numerous TV appearances, attacking Democrats at every turn in recent days.
"Equal justice under law is at stake in this Witchunt," Giuliani tweeted, as Democrats mocked the former Mayor of New York.
"We had no choice but to move forward with an impeachment inquiry," said Schiff, who has taken more of a lead role in the impeachment effort by Democrats since the whistleblower story came out.
As for Speaker Pelosi, she made clear her reluctance to push for impeachment was totally changed by the details of the Trump phone call with the President of Ukraine.
“Well they’re wrong,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tells Scott Pelley, referring to Republicans who say there’s nothing impeachable about a phone call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine. "60 Minutes" reports, tonight https://t.co/aPOTVqIKiv pic.twitter.com/PRzKs87cya— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) September 29, 2019
If you have not read the whistleblower complaint - it can be found here.