The latest revelations about President Trump’s request for a political campaign “favor” from the Ukrainian government have led New Haven’s representatives in Washington to join the Democratic stampede toward impeachment.
New Haven U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro accused Trump of breaking the law and engaging in possible extortion by asking Ukraine’s president to press a criminal investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden at a time when the U.S. was withholding military aid to the country. That effort emerged in a transcript released Wednesday of a telephone call between the U.S. and Ukrainian presidents.
DeLauro, who previously had resisted calling for impeachment hearings into Trump’s conduct in various controversies, now embraces the call for impeachment hearings into the Ukrainian affair.
“President Donald Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should alarm every American — especially those in Congress who have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution. On July 25, 2019, just one day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, the President asked a foreign leader point-blank to ‘look into’ 2020 Presidential candidate Vice President Joe Biden and his son. That request — to investigate a political opponent before the upcoming 2020 election — reeks of potential extortion and it is illegal,” DeLauro, a Democrat, stated in a release from her office.
“We cannot allow the President or his advisers, including his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to confuse and obfuscate this matter. Releasing notes of President’s call does not make his words less damning; no amount of propaganda on cable TV can change that. In fact, this call only makes the need for the Intelligence Committee to see the entire whistleblower complaint even more urgent. That is why I am reiterating my support for an impeachment inquiry, which is the only recourse Congress has to respond to President Trump’s egregious actions.”
“This transcript is devastating. Within moments of President Zelensky discussing the need for U.S. security aid, Trump asks him to investigate his political opponents,” agreed Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy in a separate release Wednesday.
“Throughout the call, Trump tells the Ukrainian president to coordinate with his reelection campaign. These are demands that a President of the United States simply cannot make of a foreign leader, and the transcript further underscores the urgent need to get a full, complete accounting of Trump’s abuse of his office.”
Murphy, who discussed the matter recently with Zelensky during a trip to Ukraine, called on the U.S. House of Representatives to begin an impeachment inquiry into the president’s efforts to press a foreign nation into the service of his reelection campaign.”
Later Wednesday, Murphy responded to an allegation by President Trump that Murphy had “threatened” President Zelensky during a visit to Ukraine three weeks ago. Here’s Murphy’s version: “I made it clear to him that Ukraine should not become involved in the 2020 election and that his government should communicate with the State Department, not the president’s campaign. I still believe this to be true.:
Connecticut’s other U.S. Senator, Richard Blumenthal, issued his own call for such an inquiry a day earlier. “The President has repeatedly broken laws and betrayed his oath of office. His seeking corrupt assistance from a foreign leader for personal political gain crosses the line,” Blumenthal is quoted as stating in a Tuesday release. “This illegal misuse of the presidency for private benefit is an impeachable act. This most recent lawbreaking follows three years of contemptuous disregard for the Constitution. The Congress must demand accountability. The values and norms of our democracy are precious and vulnerable and they depend on people fighting for them in times of adversity. At this moment, the threat to the rule of law and our democracy has reached a new height and requires all of us to step forward.”