Maxine Waters is going on the offensive against Donald Trump, pushing back against the president's public pressures on a whistleblower.
Waters, the Democratic Congresswoman from California, has been one of Trump's most vocal critics and one of the earliest calling for his impeachment. On Tuesday, she took it a step further in responding to Trump's public statements against a whistleblower who filed a complaint about Trump's actions to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rival.
"I'm calling on the GOP to stop Trump's filthy talk of whistleblowers being spies & using mob language implying they should be killed. Impeachment is not good enough for Trump. He needs to be imprisoned & placed in solitary confinement. But for now, impeachment is the imperative," Waters tweeted.
Donald Trump has forcefully pushed back against the whistleblower complaint, claiming that he pressured Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden's son, Hunter, for his business dealings in Ukraine. The complaint outlined a series of actions Trump took in order to pressure Ukraine, including withholding military aid and pressuring the Ukrainian president during a July 25 phone call. The White House later released a summary of the call, showing that Trump called on his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Biden.
This weekend, Trump said that he deserves to "meet" the whistleblower, and had previously said in a private meeting that the person who gave the information to the whistleblower is a "spy," insinuating that this person would have faced capital punishment in the past.
Trump's actions have drawn the ire of his own party as well. This week, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley issued a statement defending the whistleblower, though Grassley did not reference Trump by name. Grassley is the chairman of the U.S. Senate's Whistleblower Protection Caucus and has been vocal in the past about the need to protect those who speak out against government abuses."No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts," Grassley said, via NBC News. "Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn't serve the country."
Maxine Waters was one of the first Democrats to call for Donald Trump's impeachment related to what she has seen as abuses of the office, even as Democratic leadership had been slow to move on proceedings related to the Russia report. Democrats have now moved quickly on an impeachment inquiry related to Ukraine, already issuing a number of subpoenas to top Trump officials for information about his actions toward Ukraine.