Kellyanne Conway, the White House counselor, on Friday accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of giving in to the "men around her" when she announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump over a July 25 phone call with the newly elected president of Ukraine.
Democrats–citing a newly released whistleblower complaint– claim that Trump withheld nearly $400 million in military aid from Kiev unless it agreed to investigate his potential 2020 rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter's business dealing in the country.
Both Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denied that there was an unspoken quid pro quo. Trump insisted that the call was "perfect" and he was just doing his due diligence to make sure the country was working to weed out corruption.
Conway addressed reporters outside the White House on Friday and accused Pelosi of taking the inquiry plunge– not because of new evidence– but because she was taking orders from men around her. Conway said a move like that is the worst thing a "woman in power can do."
According to a Washington Examiner timeline, Pelosi attended an Atlantic festival on Tuesday and was asked about impeachment and she reportedly remained noncommittal. She had a scheduled meeting with Democrats later that day and announced the formal impeachment inquiry, citing Trump's admission that he mentioned the Bidens to Zelensky.
“The actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonorable facts of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of his national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections,” she said on Tuesday while announcing the inquiry.
The Associated Press reported that the new drive was led by a group of moderate Democratic lawmakers from political swing districts, many of them with national security backgrounds and serving in Congress for the first time.
It is no secret that Pelosi has been the source of frustration to her party’s liberal wing that has called for Trump’s impeachment for months. Political observers argued that the speaker was deliberate in her actions in order to protect Democrats in moderate districts and hedge against the possibility that the allegations fizzled.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday told an audience at Seton Hall's law school that he believed "leftists" were behind the impeachment push, according to Politico. He said the county is going to go down a "very long and unproductive" road.
"Speaker Pelosi was dealing with pressure from her caucus and, when you talk about pressure from the left, there is a highly leftist component to the Democratic Party that she was feeling pressure for,” Cuomo said. He said Pelosi is "a deliberate, responsible person. She’s not a knee-jerk person. And I think she resisted the pressure in her caucus admirably for a long period of time."
The whistleblower complaint was released on Thursday and Democrats appeared to double down on their push. Pelosi tweeted a portion of the complaint that claims Trump was seeking interference and said "it doesn't get more serious than this."
Pelosi told the New Jersey Democratic State Committee‘s convention in Atlantic City Friday night, according to Politico, that "this is not a cause for any joy that we have to go down this path. It’s a difficult decision to make. But we have that obligation because the actions that were taken undermine the constitution and the oath we take to protect and defend, including the oath that the president takes.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report