United States House Democrats are bringing the impeachment focus back to Russia as they draft formal charges against President Donald Trump.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is connecting the dots — “all roads lead to Putin,” she says — and making the argument that Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine was not an isolated incident but part of a troubling bond with the Russian president reaching back to special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings on the 2016 election.
“This has been going on for 2 1/2 years,” Pelosi said Friday.
“This isn’t about Ukraine,” she explained a day earlier. ”’It’s about Russia. Who benefited by our withholding of that military assistance? Russia.”
The framing is taking on greater urgency and importance, both as a practical matter and a political one, as Democrats move seriously into writing the articles of impeachment.
It’s an attempt to explain why Americans should care that Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate rival Joe Biden while withholding $400 million in military aid that Congress had approved for the struggling Eastern European ally fighting a border war with Russia.
“Sometimes people say, ‘Well I don’t know about Ukraine. I don’t know that much about Ukraine,’” Pelosi said Thursday after announcing the decision to draft formal charges. “Well, our adversary in this is Russia. All roads lead to Putin. Understand that.”