Press "Enter" to skip to content

Q&A: Herrera Beutler calls for ‘transparency’ of Trump call transcript

President Donald Trump directed the acting White House chief of staff to freeze more than $391 million in aid to Ukraine in the days before a scheduled phone call with the new Ukrainian president, a conversation in which Trump insinuated that the Ukraine should investigate the family of Democratic presidential front-runner Joseph Biden, the former vice president.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and he agreed to release the transcript of the call to the public on Wednesday. His administration paid the Ukrainian aid under pressure from Congress after news of the freeze leaked through media reports.

The July 25 conversation is said to be part of a whistleblower complaint that became known to the House Intelligence Committee two weeks ago. The intelligence community’s internal watchdog has deemed the whistleblower complaint “urgent” and credible, but the Trump administration has so far refused to share the document with Congress, The New York Times reported. House Democrats have threatened to issue a subpoena for the whistleblower complaint if it’s not released by Thursday.

The Columbian sent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, a list of questions to clarify her position on Congress’ role as it relates to these events. Her answers, in full, are as follows:

Do you believe that this information that we have so far merits further investigation from Congress?

“There are serious allegations here that deserve a finding of all the facts. The president has said he acted appropriately, and I support his decision to release the call transcript and be transparent about what took place. He should do so as soon as practicable.”

Do you think House members should be able to compel the administration to turn over a transcript of the president’s July 25 conversation with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky?

“The president has said he will release the transcript. I support that action, and hope he provides this transparency as soon as practicable.”

Do you believe House members should be able to compel the administration to turn over a copy of the whistleblower complaint connected to that call?

“We need the transparency of seeing the transcript of what took place on that call which will dictate what, if any, action is needed from Congress. Leaders from the House Intelligence Committee are already planning to speak with the whistleblower about taking his testimony.”

Do you believe Congress can conduct a full and fair investigation of these events without either of these documents?

“We need the transparency of seeing the transcript of what took place on that call which will dictate what, if any, action is needed from Congress. Leaders from the House Intelligence Committee are already planning to speak with the whistleblower about taking his testimony.”

Do you think the administration should hand over these documents?

“I believe the president made the appropriate decision to release the transcript. There are serious allegations involved, and the public deserves transparency and to have all of the facts. The need for other documents will be determined by the contents of the transcript and/or the testimony of the whistleblower.”

Do you think the administration should have to?

“We need to be careful about the precedent we set by requiring presidents to release their confidential conversations with world leaders unless there’s an extremely compelling reason to do so, but in this case the president has already agreed to release the transcript and provide transparency to the public.”

If the administration were to refuse to hand over either of these documents to you and your colleagues, what should the recourse of Congress be?

“We’ll start by reviewing the transcript, and the appropriate committees should take action as warranted if additional transparency is needed, whether that’s hearings, further investigation, or a determination that no more action is required based on the facts.”

Say Thursday comes and goes and Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire fails to turn over the whistleblower complaint, disregarding the deadline set by your colleagues. What action would you support?

“Again, the public deserves complete transparency with regard to what took place on that call which will dictate what, if any, action is needed from Congress. Leaders from the House Intelligence Committee are already planning to speak with the whistleblower about taking his testimony.”

Do you support the impeachment proceedings announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today?

“It’s premature to make a judgment on impeachment before anyone has even seen the transcript of the president’s conversation or the whistleblower documents. The president has said he will release both, and I welcome his transparency on this issue.”

(Reporter’s note: As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, The New York Times reported that 197 members of the U.S. House of Representatives — 196 Democrats and one independent — supported launching impeachment proceedings.)


Source: https://www.columbian.com

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: