Our questions in bold are followed by Rep. Herrera Beutler’s answers.
These allegations are serious and efforts to get all of the facts demand continued transparency. I am focused on whether or not the president coerced Ukraine to influence the 2020 election by threatening to withhold aid to that country. It needs to be proven that the president coerced Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election under the threat of withholding aid. And that hasn’t been done.
Do you believe the president did something improper in soliciting such assistance or do you believe too much is being made out of the July 25 phone call?
As a Member of Congress the question I must answer is not “Did the president demonstrate great judgement during this phone call?” because he didn’t. The question I must answer is “did the president commit high crimes and misdemeanors?” because that’s the standard for impeachment.
Asking a country to investigate and root out corruption or election interference is not a crime in itself, even if the investigation may involve your political opponents. There are senior senators who in May of 2018 asked Ukraine to help investigate the Trump campaign – and nobody is talking about throwing them out of office over it. So unless we’re operating a double standard, it needs to be proven that the president coerced Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election under the threat of withholding aid. And that hasn’t been done.
Do you believe the President is obstructing legitimate Congressional oversight, using intimidation toward the whistleblower and those who provided damaging information for the whistleblower complaint? Do you, like the president, believe these career government professionals are spies or traitors?
The whistleblower’s allegation is serious and efforts to get all of the facts demand continued transparency. No one is above the law and these allegations remain serious, but for the sake of this nation we should all follow a process that does not put conclusions before facts.
Do you still support the president in his role as de facto leader of the Republican Party?
From day one of this Administration, I’ve supported the president when it’s in the best interests of the residents of Southwest Washington, and I’ve stood up to him when those priorities were in conflict.
During the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in our election, I consistently supported making that process transparent and making sure the investigation could reach its conclusion unhampered. While this investigation into these allegations against the president continues, I remain focused on delivering solutions to the problems facing Southwest Washington residents – issues like skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, the need for sustained economic growth, care for our veterans – and where the president is in alignment with us on those priorities, I will work with him.
What would it take for you to break with the president?
Please see above. When his position on an issue is in conflict with the best interests of Southwest Washington – whether it’s the rollback of stricter braking standards on trains carrying hazardous materials, his emergency declaration to redirect funds appropriated elsewhere by Congress, or his administration’s plan to open Washington’s coast to offshore drilling – I’ve opposed him. With regard to impeachment, I must adhere to the Constitution. And according to the Constitution, I must answer the question: Did the president commit “high crimes and misdemeanors”? So I’m focused on whether or not it can be proven that the president coerced Ukraine to influence the 2020 election by threatening to withhold aid to that country.
Also curious now what you made of President Trump’s remarks today that Ukraine and China should investigate Joe Biden for corruption.
They weren’t helpful.