PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – House Democrats are moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry, and some local lawmakers are on board, while others are against it.
House Democrats now say the president went too far when he allegedly used taxpayer money, appropriated by congress for Ukraine, as a political weapon to force the Ukrainians to investigate an American candidate for president, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Several months ago, Pittsburgh-area congressman Mike Doyle, the senior democratic congressman from this state, called for an impeachment inquiry.
KDKA’s Jon Delano spoke to him shortly after the impeachment announcement, and he repeated that Congress has an obligation to investigate.
“I would like to think whether you are a Republican or a Democrat to preserve the rule of law in our country, and our democracy and our republic as we understand to be, that we have a constitutional obligation to do the right thing, and to judge these charges not on a partisan basis but to judge them on the merits as to whether or not he’s violated the law and therefore has committed an offense he can be impeached for,” he told Jon Delano.
WATCH: KDKA’s Kym Gable has more on the reaction from local lawmakers.
Foreign countries are prohibited from interfering in American elections, and using tax dollars for political purposes is illegal.
Speaker Pelosi called for an impeachment inquiry in the house just as the whistleblower offered to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
It was this unknown whistleblower who first reported concerns about the president’s interaction with the Ukrainian president.
President Trump has blocked the whistleblower’s report from being shared with members of that committee — as is required by law.
Up until this Ukrainian matter, Pelosi has opposed an impeachment inquiry.
But with two-thirds of House Democrats now urging an investigation, the speaker has reversed course.
Congressman Guy Reschenthaler issued a statement saying:
“This is a sad day for our democracy. Speaker Pelosi’s decision to begin a formal impeachment inquiry based on secondhand allegations shows just how desperate the Democrats are to undo the will of the American people. President Trump has agreed to release the unredacted transcript of his phone call with the president of Ukraine and the House Intelligence Committee has yet to hold any hearings on this matter. Calling for impeachment before learning the facts sets a dangerous precedent and shows that once again, House Democrats are putting political theatre before the needs of the American people.”
Representative Conor Lamb said he wants to see the full text of the whistleblower complaint. He issued a statement saying:
“As I said yesterday, we need to get the full text of the whistleblower complaint by Thursday, not just the transcript of one phone call.
“It appears that we will learn more facts in the coming days, and I’ll have more to say after that.”
The president tweeted this afternoon that tomorrow he will release a transcript of his conversation with the Ukrainian president which, he says, will show “no quid pro quo” and further tweeted that this was a witch hunt.
Senator Pat Toomey released a statement, saying:
“As I have said repeatedly, a candidate for federal office seeking the assistance of a foreign government would be inappropriate. Tomorrow will shed more light on what transpired as President Trump has decided to release an un-redacted transcript of his call with the Ukrainian president. Further, the Senate unanimously approved today a resolution calling on for the full whistleblower complaint to be given to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. The administration should comply with this request.”