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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 HimesCOVID-19 could complicate Pelosi's path to Speaker next year Democrats debate fate of Trump probes if Biden wins House Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education MORE (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the focus of the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit 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 ToddTrump has not contacted Pence since storming of Capitol: report Lawmakers mount pressure on Trump to leave office Jeffries: 'Trump may be in the Twitter penalty box, but he still has access to the nuclear codes' 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 BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE or Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMillennials and the great reckoning on race Biden chooses Amanda Gorman as youngest known inaugural poet Can Biden encompass the opposition he embodied? MORE," Himes said. 

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