The Latest: Democrats say Trump allegations are impeachable
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and a whistleblower’s complaint (all times local):
Seven Democratic freshmen lawmakers who served in the military and national security say that if President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate rival Joe Biden for political benefit, it’s impeachable.
The seven centrist Democrats said in an op-ed late Monday in The Washington Post they “do not arrive at this conclusion lightly.”
They call the allegations “a threat to all” they’ve sworn to protect.
The lawmakers include Reps. Gil Cisneros of California, Jason Crow of Colorado, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia.
They come largely from swing districts where Trump is popular but voters split.
Trump has denied wrongdoing in talking about Biden with Ukraine’s president.
Republican senators are expressing unease with President Donald Trump discussing former Vice President Joe Biden during a conversation with Ukraine’s president.
Yet most of the GOP lawmakers are telling reporters that more information is needed about the phone call.
Trump has denied reports he withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine to scrutinize Biden, a potential 2020 presidential rival.
Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney says it would be “very serious” if Trump demanded an investigation.
Alaska Sen. Susan Murkowski says it would be helpful for the administration to give lawmakers an intelligence community inspector general’s report about a whistleblower’s complaint about Trump. She says offering military assistance in exchange for a probe of Biden would be “not OK.”
Others, like Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, are downplaying Democrats’ past “breathless complaints” about Trump.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he personally pressured the Trump administration to release U.S. aid to Ukraine this summer, a time when the funding is now under scrutiny with a whistleblower’s complaint against the president.
The Republican leader said Monday he did not know the content of the whistleblower’s complaint. President Donald Trump was reportedly withholding funding for Ukraine as he urged the country’s president to investigate his chief political rival, Joe Biden. Trump denies any wrongdoing.
McConnell says he contacted both the Defense Secretary and the Secretary of State this summer to release the funds. Congress had approved $250 million for Ukraine security.
He criticized Democrats for demanding public scrutiny of Trump’s actions. He said the Intelligence committee should handle questions in a classified setting.
The chairmen of three House committees are threatening to subpoena Secretary of State Mike Pompeo if he does not produce information about whether President Donald Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, inappropriately tried to influence the government of Ukraine for political gain.
The heads of the House intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Government Reform committees sent a letter to Pompeo Monday threatening subpoenas if the documents aren’t provided by Thursday.
The committees asked for the documents two weeks ago. Since then, it has emerged that Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is holding back a whistleblower complaint from Congress. The AP and other news outlets have reported the complaint is linked to a phone call where Trump pressured Ukraine’s leader to investigate Joe Biden’s son.
President Donald Trump is denying that he told the president of Ukraine that his country would only get U.S. aid if they investigated the son of Democratic rival Joe Biden.
During a meeting Monday on the sidelines of the United Nations, Trump said emphatically: “I didn’t do it.”
He said he hoped people would be able to eventually see a transcript of the call. He says if his critics ever see it, they will be “very disappointed.”
Trump said he didn’t put “any pressure” on Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden.
His comments came amid reports he pressured Ukraine’s leader to help investigate political rival Joe Biden at the same time the White House was withholding $250 million in aid to the Eastern European nation.
The top Senate Democrat is calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to investigate a whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump’s actions toward Ukraine.
Chuck Schumer says in a letter Monday to McConnell that the Republicans’ “see no evil, hear no evil” attitude toward the president’s actions “is unacceptable and must change.”
The New York Democrat called on McConnell to take five specific steps to probe the situation, including issuing a subpoena to compel the whistleblower’s complaint to be delivered to Congress.
Schumer also said Republicans should tell the White House to release transcripts of Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president and identify who in the White House sought to delay $250 million in aid to Ukraine. Trump reportedly asked the foreign leader to investigate his chief political rival, Joe Biden.