President Trump on Tuesday escalated his criticism of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, claiming the process resembled a “coup.”
“As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP,” Trump tweeted.
The president wrote that the investigation into his alleged abuse of power is “intended to take away the Power of the People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!”
As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2019
House Democrats last week formally launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump, spurred largely by his conduct on a call with the Ukrainian president in which Trump urged the foreign leader to “look into” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The White House last week released a rough transcript of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which showed Trump urging Zelensky to get in touch with his personal attorney and the attorney general to investigate possible wrongdoing by Biden.
A whistleblower complaint made public last Thursday shed further light on how the White House sought to conceal the contents of the call by limiting those who had access to the transcript.
Trump’s tweet on Tuesday mirrored the rhetoric he deployed during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The president regularly decried the probe as a “witch hunt” and referred to it earlier this year as “a coup,” likening it to something that would happen in “a third world country.”
But Mueller’s report did not establish that Trump conspired with Russia, and it failed to deliver a verdict on whether he obstructed justice.
The Ukraine controversy represents a more urgent threat to Trump’s presidency, as Democrats have indicated they are prepared to move quickly toward impeachment. In response, Trump’s attacks on his critics have become increasingly hostile.
The president on Monday suggested House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who has been at the forefront of the impeachment inquiry, should be arrested for treason for his exaggerated description of Trump’s call with Zelensky.
Trump has also been fiercely critical of the whistleblower, deriding them as partisan and questioning whether they are loyal to the country.
The president said Monday that the White House is trying to find out who the whistleblower is, and he has claimed that he has the right to interview the individual, despite protections in place to keep the person’s identity anonymous.
Democrats and some Republicans have pushed back against Trump’s attacks on the whistleblower, saying the individual followed the proper protocols in filing their complaint.
“No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement on Tuesday. “Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country.”