AOC: Democrats' refusal to impeach Trump is a 'national scandal'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Saturday, calling the Democratic Party’s reluctance to impeach President Donald Trump a “national scandal.”

“At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior ― it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted late Saturday.

The freshman lawmaker’s tweet follows reports that a U.S. intelligence official filed a whistleblower complaint last month allegedly involving Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a front-runner in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race.

House Democrats are looking into whether Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani traveled to Ukraine to pressure the foreign government to dig up dirt on Biden’s younger son, Hunter, who previously sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, attacking reports from The New York Times and The Washington Post about the matter as “fake news.”

Despite the explosive allegations against Trump and the majority of House Democrats publicly supporting the start of an impeachment inquiry, Pelosi has refused to move forward with the process, claiming it would only further divide the country.

She also reportedly told House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) last week that she doesn’t believe impeachment would pass a vote on the House floor.

A representative for Pelosi did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, speaks at a rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders in Queensbridge Park. (Photo by Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) waves with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) as she endorses him during his speech at a campaign rally in Queensbridge Park on October 19, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. This is Sanders' first rally since he paused his campaign for the nomination due to health problems. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) endorses Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at a campaign rally in Queensbridge Park on October 19, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. This is Sanders' first rally since he paused his campaign for the nomination due to health problems. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) endorses Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at a campaign rally in Queensbridge Park on October 19, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. This is Sanders' first rally since he paused his campaign for the nomination due to health problems. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
AOC says bigger scandal than Trump's 'lawbreaking behavior' is Dems' refusal to impeach

"This is an immediate threat, it is an immediate, immediate threat, and it is extraordinarily serious," Ocasio-Cortez told reporters on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building on Friday.

She added that in her view there was not more support among Democrats for impeachment proceedings to be leveled against Trump because of challenging elections coming up in their districts.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that the acting director of national intelligence was breaking the law with his decision to withhold from Congress a whistleblower complaint reported to address communications between President Donald Trump and a foreign leader.

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 20: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., stops to speak with reporters outside of the Capitol after the final votes of the week on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
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Often referred to by her initials, AOC, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made history when she became the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress at 29. Since being elected in 2018, the Puerto Rican Bronx native has continued to make headlines thanks to her Green New Deal and outspoken commentary on social media.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Oversight Committee hearing on high prescription drugs prices shortly after her private meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 26, 2019. The high-profile freshman and the veteran Pelosi have been critical of one another recently. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 file photo, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., delivers her inaugural address following her swearing-in ceremony at the Renaissance School for Musical Theater and Technology in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, File)
U.S. House of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listens during the NAACP town hall at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundations (CBCF) 49th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). Moderated by political strategist & CNN political commentator Angela Rye, in conversation with fellow Representatives: Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar, addressing the 2020 census, voting rights, and the upcoming presidential election. The town hall took place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, September 11, 2019. (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 29: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks at a public housing town hall at a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residence on August 29, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Cortez, who represents residents from parts of the Bronx and Queens boroughs, spoke about issues residents face in New York, where one in 14 live in public housing. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Ocasio-Cortez and several other progressive House Democrats have repeatedly urged Pelosi for more than a year to pursue impeachment of the president, citing conflicts of interest between Trump’s presidency and his business empire.

More Democrats began calling for an impeachment inquiry following Robert Mueller’s Russia report, which outlined several instances of potential obstruction of justice committed by Trump.

Nearly all of the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have said they would support the House opening an inquiry.

“After the Mueller report, Congress had a duty to begin impeachment,” Warren tweeted Friday. “By failing to act, Congress is complicit in Trump’s latest attempt to solicit foreign interference to aid him in US elections. Do your constitutional duty and impeach the president.”

Biden, who has stated in the past that he agrees with Pelosi’s stance on impeachment, told CBS News on Friday that Trump “could be impeached” depending on the results of the House’s probe into the whistleblower complaint.

“I’m not making that judgment now,” he said. “The House should investigate.” 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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