House speaker Nancy Pelosi said that attorney general William Barr had “gone rogue” in his efforts to protect President Trump from allegations contained in a whistleblower complaint.
Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday, Pelosi accused the Trump administration of presiding over a “cover-up of a cover-up” to keep the allegations of misconduct on Trump’s part from becoming known.
During the same interview, Pelosi also defended her decision to impeach Trump despite in 1998 having stood against the impeachment of Bill Clinton. She said that in Clinton’s case the allegations centered around a “personal matter,” while the concerns over Trump’s conduct affect national security, leaving Democrats “no choice” but to act.
The whistleblower complaint, released on Thursday, alleges that the White House tried to guard the contents of a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Officials familiar with the conversation, the whistleblower learned, were concerned that Trump used the office of the presidency to try to pressure Zelensky for political gain.
A transcript of the call was released by the White House on Wednesday. It confirmed initial reports that Trump asked Zelensky to look into corruption allegations against Hunter Biden, son of presidential candidate Joe Biden, who had business holdings in Ukraine at the time his father was vice president.
Over a week before the phone call Trump had ordered a hold on military aid to Ukraine. Democrats have accused Trump of using the aid package as leverage to pressure Zelensky to investigate Trump’s political opponent.
Pelosi announced on Tuesday her intent to open impeachment inquiries, before the release of the transcript or the complaint. A majority of House Democrats now supports impeachment inquiries into Trump’s alleged misconduct.