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 HimesDemocrats debate how and when to get House back in action Democrats get assurances from Cuccinelli on immigrants, coronavirus care Gaetz wears gas mask on House floor during vote on bill to fight coronavirus MORE (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the focus of the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice says it will recommend Trump veto FISA bill Fauci: Nominating conventions may be able to go on as planned Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally 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 ToddCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Dr. Tom Inglesby Gottlieb calls for CDC to have 'elevated' role in coronavirus fight Navarro: CDC 'really let the country down with the testing' 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 BidenProsecutor investigating whether Tara Reade gave false testimony as expert witness Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally George Floyd's sister says Minneapolis officers should be charged with murder MORE or Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNew FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification California 25 and COVID-19 The Memo: Trump tweets cross into new territory MORE," Himes said. 

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