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 HimesHouse Republicans boycott public Intelligence panel hearing Democrats criticize Medal of Freedom for Limbaugh as 'slap in the face' Twitter users invoke Merrick Garland after McConnell, Graham comments on impeachment trial MORE (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the focus of the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration 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 ToddThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Debate focus on spectacle over substance doesn't help pick best candidate The Hill's Morning Report - Democrats duke it out during Nevada debate 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 BidenThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Fox's Ingraham mocks DNC over Nevada voting malfunctions: 'Are we a Third World country?' At Democratic debate, missed opportunities on immigration MORE or Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill Judge dismisses Nunes' lawsuit against Fusion GPS The Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada MORE," Himes said. 

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