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Published: Thursday, October 03, 2019 @ 5:59 PM
— With the House and Senate out on a two week legislative break, Republicans in the Congress said little about President Donald Trump's extraordinary public call on Thursday for Ukraine and China to investigate business dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, as Democrats said Mr. Trump was showing exactly why an impeachment investigation is needed.
"This is an obvious abuse of power and yet another attempt by Donald Trump to undermine our elections," said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV).
"He’s openly challenging our system of checks and balances," said Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who switched from the GOP to an Independent because of the President's actions in the Russia investigation.
The latest finger pointing in Congress erupted not from a secret whistleblower report, or a leak to the news media - but instead straight from the President himself, as he told reporters at the White House that government officials in Ukraine and China would be wise to look at the Bidens.
"I would recommend they start an investigation into the Bidens," Mr. Trump said of Ukraine.
"Likewise, China should should start an investigation of the Bidens," he added.
President Trump: "China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine. So, I would say that President Zelensky, if it were me, I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens." pic.twitter.com/Xia8vLUVT2— CSPAN (@cspan) October 3, 2019
"I have not heard what the President said," said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who refused to judge the President's call for China and Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
Of the few GOP lawmakers in town, others said much the same, as Republicans were also quiet on social media.
Meanwhile, the Democratic outrage stretched from coast to coast.
"In calling on China to investigate a political opponent, @realDonaldTrump has again betrayed his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution," tweeted Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX).
"Mr. President, you cannot extort foreign governments to help you win re-election," said Biden. "It’s an abuse of power. It violates your oath of office."
"Someone should inform the president that impeachable offenses committed on national television still count," said 2016 Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton.
.@RepAdamSchiff: "A President of the United States encouraging a foreign nation to interfere again to help his campaign by investigating a rival is a fundamental breach of the President's oath of office." pic.twitter.com/DWfw8eGCGR— CSPAN (@cspan) October 3, 2019
While Republicans didn't say much about the President's remarks, GOP lawmakers kept up their attacks on impeachment efforts by Democrats in the House.
"I've written to Speaker Pelosi to halt the impeachment inquiry," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the top Republican in the House.
The Speaker immediately rejected that.
Pelosi just wrote back to Kevin McCarthy, who demanded that she let the full House vote to move forward on an impeachment inquiry before moving forward.— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) October 3, 2019
Pelosi: That's not how this works. Also did you see Trump what Trump said on TV today? pic.twitter.com/5QYypGVhjT
"I received your letter this morning shortly after the world witnessed President Trump on national television asking yet another foreign power to interfere in the upcoming 2020 elections," Pelosi responded.
"Donald Trump is now openly calling for foreign governments to interfere in our elections from the White House Lawn," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
"We will hold him accountable," Warren tweeted. "He must be impeached."