Congressman Maxine Waters thinks impeachment will “move very quickly,” now “people are tending to believe there’s a lot to this” recent controversy with Ukraine, and allegations Trump pushed for an investigation into Joe Biden and his son’s business deals in the country.
After months of resisting calls to impeach Trump for unfounded allegations of collusion with Russia in 2016, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans Tuesday to launch formal impeachment proceedings and Waters is delighted.
“He went over the line. It’s like a thousand knicks and he’s finally stepped into a situation with the whistleblower where people are tending to believe there’s a lot to this. And so, the speaker has moved very decisively and she now knows she has the support of most of the caucus and she has formalized the impeachment inquiry, and I support that,” Waters told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Tuesday.
Waters chairs the House Financial Services Committee, one of six that are expected to contribute investigative materials from ongoing inquiries to draft articles of impeachment for the House Judiciary Committee to consider in the near future, according to the California congresswoman.
“Here’s what I understand, … all of the chairs of the six committees will be involved in basically coming up with what should be articles of impeachment based on the work that we have been doing,” Waters said. “Some will have more to say about what those articles should be based on the work that they have been doing, some will say less, and we will agree basically on what those articles should be …”
“That is what the Judiciary Committee will be working with,” she said.
“It’s going to move very quickly,” Waters told Maddow. “We met today and we will be meeting perhaps tomorrow, perhaps the next day, but it’s going to move quickly.”
Pelosi’s impeachment announcement follows revelations of a whistleblower complaint about fourth-hand knowledge of a conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The complaint alleged Trump repeatedly asked Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden’s claims he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid if Ukrainian officials did not fire a prosecutor investigating corruption at an energy company that reportedly paid Biden’s son millions.
A transcript of the call released by the White House on Wednesday details Trump’s single, brief mention of Biden’s son.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,” Trump said, according to the official record.
“Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me,” Trump said.
Waters, who has called for impeachment since Trump took office, couldn’t provide an estimate on when the Judiciary Committee might have something to review, but she insisted it is the priority.
“I do expect that the Judiciary Committee is prepared to move very quickly,” Waters said.
The 81-year-old career politician admitted Democrats are working through lawsuits and other means to pry into Trump’s financial dealings but much of the requested records are still tied up in litigation.
“Now, we’re still in court,” she said. “We have to follow the court processes and no I don’t have all of the information that I need to move forward with specific language that would go into the impeachment inquiry.”
Maddow questioned whether the formal impeachment effort is important enough to Democrats to cancel another Congressional recess scheduled for Friday, and Waters said lawmakers likely will opt for time off over extra work.
“I know that a discussion has started on that, I don’t know that it will happen. That we will not be in recess. But I know that is under discussion,” Waters said.