Forget "quid pro quo." Democrats are using a new word: "bribery." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that President Trump is guilty of exactly that in his dealings with Ukraine, reports Politico. The New York Times sees the usage as significant because bribery is spelled out in the Constitution as an impeachable offense. Pelosi emphasized that the House has not yet decided to impeach the president, saying that's what the current inquiry is about. But she made clear she thinks he ran afoul of the Constitution. "The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections," she said. "That’s bribery."
The Hill notes that other Democrats have begun using the terms "bribery" or "extortion" instead of "quid pro quo" of late to be clearer about what the president is accused of. "What President Trump has done on the record—in terms of ... [asking] a foreign power to help him in his own election and the obstruction of information about that, the cover-up—makes what Nixon did look almost small," said Pelosi. "Almost small." Trump, meanwhile, tweeted that House Democrats have accomplished nothing under Pelosi other than to harass him without cause. "This Impeachment Hoax is such a bad precedent and sooo bad for our Country!" The president also retweeted this video mocking Wednesday's claim of an overheard call by diplomat William Taylor. (Read more Nancy Pelosi stories.)