Intelligence Democrat: Stop using 'quid pro quo' to describe Trump allegations

Intelligence Democrat: Stop using 'quid pro quo' to describe Trump allegations
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jim HimesJames (Jim) Andres HimesCentrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote Many Democrats want John Bolton's testimony, but Pelosi stays mum SEC's Clayton demurs on firing of Manhattan US attorney he would replace MORE (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the focus of the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus MORE needs to shift away from the use of "quid pro quo" to describe Trump's alleged behavior. 

"They’ve got to get off the quid pro quo thing, because it's complicated, they've already attested to the fact that it occurred, and what we're dealing with here is corruption, abuse of power in a way that damaged American national security," Himes said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." 

Himes told host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddMurkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election Republican senator says plans to confirm justice before election 'completely consistent with the precedent' Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response MORE he has two problems with the term.

"Number one, when you're trying to persuade the American people of something that is really pretty simple, which is the that the president acted criminally and extorted in the way a mob boss would extort somebody, a vulnerable foreign country, it's probably best not to use Latin words to explain it," he said. 

Himes also said extortion doesn't require a "you give me this and I give you that" deal. 

"It simply requires using your muscle to get something you don’t have a right to," Himes added. 

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Himes said the "crowning absurdity" is nearly every witness has now testified "pretty much admitting" that "there was a quid pro quo."

Republicans had defended against such a deal citing U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's testimony. Sondland changed his testimony to say there was a quid pro quo. 

Republicans are now dismissing a quid pro quo as "gosh it wasn't that bad, it was exactly the same as Joe BidenJoe BidenPrivacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus Trump crowd chants 'lock her up' about Omar as president warns of refugees in Minnesota MORE or Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump crowd chants 'lock her up' about Omar as president warns of refugees in Minnesota Democrats say Biden survived brutal debate — and that's enough Comey defends FBI Russia probe from GOP criticism MORE," Himes said. 

The next public phase of the inquiry begins next week with public hearings kicking off on Wednesday.