House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued today that President Trump's actions in the Ukraine scandal constitute "bribery" and he has admitted to it himself, the latest and most high-profile Democrat to use that word when describing Trump's conduct.
"What the President has admitted to and says it's perfect, I've said it's perfectly wrong. It's bribery," the California Democrat said at her weekly news conference today.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that his now-famous July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was "perfect."
Pelosi's comments come a day after the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry, which featured testimony from the top US diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent.
Public hearings mark the start of the next phase in the inquiry, where House Democrats will be under increasing pressure to make a compelling case to the American public about the President's actions.
Here's what else we know about the call: During the conversation, which is now at the center of the House impeachment inquiry, Trump asks the Ukrainian president for "a favor" and goes on to suggest that Ukraine look into the family of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, according to a publicly released transcript, and foreign interference in the 2016 US election.
Asked to explain what she believes the bribe was in the case of the President's contacts with Ukraine, Pelosi said, "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."