Breaking news from The Post:
President Trump told his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back almost $400 million in military aid for Ukraine at least a week before a phone call in which Trump is said to have pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate the son of former vice president Joe Biden, according to three senior administration officials…
Trump’s order to withhold aid to Ukraine a week before his July 25 call with Volodymyr Zelensky is likely to raise questions about the motivation for his decision and fuel suspicions on Capitol Hill that Trump sought to leverage congressionally approved aid to damage a political rival. The revelation comes as lawmakers clash with the White House over a related whistleblower complaint made by an intelligence official alarmed by Trump’s actions.
Sounds pretty quid pro quo-ish to me. Also, seven freshmen Democrats from swing districts — Reps. Gil Cisneros of California, Jason Crow of Colorado, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia — released an op-ed in The Post this evening:
The president of the United States may have used his position to pressure a foreign country into investigating a political opponent, and he sought to use U.S. taxpayer dollars as leverage to do it. He allegedly sought to use the very security assistance dollars appropriated by Congress to create stability in the world, to help root out corruption and to protect our national security interests, for his own personal gain. These allegations are stunning, both in the national security threat they pose and the potential corruption they represent…
This flagrant disregard for the law cannot stand. To uphold and defend our Constitution, Congress must determine whether the president was indeed willing to use his power and withhold security assistance funds to persuade a foreign country to assist him in an upcoming election.
If these allegations are true, we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense. We do not arrive at this conclusion lightly, and we call on our colleagues in Congress to consider the use of all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of “inherent contempt” and impeachment hearings, to address these new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security.
Looks like the dam is breaking in House leadership [Politico]:
House Democrats may vote this week on a resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and party leaders consider ramping up impeachment proceedings against the president, according to lawmakers and aides.
Pelosi is expected to meet with the six committee chairmen investigating Trump on Tuesday afternoon to discuss Democrats’ next steps and may even issue a forceful statement endorsing the impeachment investigation.
My guess is no formal impeachment inquiry will be announced until after the acting DNI appears before Congress on Thursday and makes it clear he intends to continue to illegally withhold the whistleblower complaint. After that, the House will start the investigation. It will have no other option.