Loebsack, Finkenauer Call Out Trump On Ukraine Quid Pro Quo

Two of Iowa’s U.S. House Democrats laid out their concerns Monday about the possibility President Donald Trump threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine if its leaders didn’t investigate former vice president and presidential candidate Joe Biden.

“This is not where we should be and not what we deserve from the leader of our country,” said U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, in a statement. “I continue to support the work of my colleagues on the designated House Committees that are doing their jobs and investigating this situation and other attacks on our democracy.”

This long and winding story began last week when the Washington Post reported a member of the intelligence community submitted a whistleblower complaint against the president due to a conversation he deemed troubling between Trump and a foreign leader. On Sunday, the New York Times reported that President Trump threatened to withhold much-needed financial aid to Ukraine if its president didn’t investigate Biden, his son, and their connections to a Ukrainian gas company.

Today, the Times reported Trump “ordered his staff” to halt more than $391 million in aid to Ukraine, “in the days before he pressed the new Ukrainian president to investigate” the former vice president and his son, Hunter Biden.

“We must continue these important investigations and get all the facts,” Finkenauer said. “While they do their work, I’ll continue fighting for Iowa’s hard working families who deserve a government that gets things done while at the same time holding those who hurt us accountable.”

On Monday, seven freshmen Democrats with military backgrounds authored an op-ed in the Washington Post about the alleged “impeachable offense.”

“We do not arrive at this conclusion lightly, and we call on our colleagues in Congress to consider the use of all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of ‘inherent contempt’ and impeachment hearings, to address these new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security,” the lawmakers wrote.

Six of the article’s seven authors are part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline Program for swing-district members.

Per Politico’s count, 23 of 44 vulnerable frontliners support an impeachment inquiry, but no one in Iowa’s delegation has gone that far yet.

Rep. Dave Loebsack, the outgoing 2nd District congressman, was the first of Iowa’s delegation to issue a statement on Ukraine, calling the allegations “game changing regarding the President’s abuse of power.”

“Making a call to pressure a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a potential political rival, while threatening to withhold military assistance, is unacceptable,” said Loebsack on Monday, in a statement. “If the President, as he has said, has nothing to hide, then he should immediately release the transcript of the call and the whistle blower’s full complaint should be immediately conveyed to Congress as laid out in the statute.

“It is imperative that Congress and the American people have all the facts surrounding the President’s call,” he said. “The rule of law requires no less.”

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds was asked whether she was concerned about Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president.

“First of all, we don’t know what the conversation was,” said Reynolds. “The individual that was supposed to be the whistleblower didn’t have direct context with the call. So, my message would be the same as it has been over the last several days, ‘Congress, do your job.’

“Get USMCA ratified,” she said. “Let’s start to do something that can continue to grow this economy and provide predictability and stability, not only to our farmers but our small businesses, our families and our manufacturers.”

 

By Elizabeth Meyer
Posted 9/24/19

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