After President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal came to light and Democrats on the Hill moved in favor of an impeachment inquiry, 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday night to address the “bizarre” past few days.
Biden has been wrapped up in the political fervor, as well. On Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee released the White House whistle-blower complaint, the one at the center of the impeachment inquiry and early reports of Trump’s alleged abuse of power. According to this, Trump halted financial aid to Ukraine just days before calling the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to, among other things, pressure Zelenskiy into investigating unsubstantiated corruption claims involving Biden’s son.
Trump, over Twitter, denied any wrongdoing and called the impeachment inquiry stemming from the complaint a “witch hunt.”
“There’s much more at stake than whether or not he’s acting so bizarrely,” Biden told Jimmy Kimmel of Trump’s actions. “The idea that someone would call a head of a foreign state, ahead of time withhold significant military aid that’s badly needed in order to prevent the Russian separatists who are in Ukraine from taking over Ukraine, and then ask basically, ‘Can you cooperate with… [Trump’s attorney] Rudy Giuliani is coming over.’ … It’s such a blatant abuse of power that I don’t think it can stand.”
When Kimmel asked if Biden believes this to be an impeachable offense, the candidate replied, “Based on the material that they acknowledged today, it seems to me it’s awful hard to avoid the conclusion that it is an impeachable offense and violation of constitutional responsibility. But, look, I am confident in the ability of the House and Senate to deal with this. My job is to just go out and flat beat him.”
On Tuesday, Kimmel joined his fellow late-night hosts — including Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, and James Corden — in tackling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s declaration of a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump.
“Donald Trump is doing what he does best, forcing a woman to do something she didn’t want to do,” Kimmel joked at the time.
Trump promised to release “the complete, fully declassified, and unredacted transcript” of his call with Zelenskiy, but the White House confirmed it was “not a verbatim transcript.”
On Wednesday, Biden tweeted, “Donald Trump pressured Ukraine to manufacture a smear against a domestic political opponent — the ‘transcript’ made that clear. It’s an abuse of power that violates the oath of office and undermines our democracy. Congress must hold him accountable.”