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Aug. 15, 2022

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Statement about Trump, Ukraine raises ‘additional questions’ for Herrera Beutler

By , Columbian staff writer

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, said remarks by White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Thursday “raised additional questions” about the president’s decision to delay aid to Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters, Mulvaney said that President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold $392 million in military aid from Ukraine over the summer was linked to Trump’s insistence that the country’s new president investigate whether it had aided Democrats in the 2016 election. The unsubstantiated theory had been debunked by U.S. intelligence officers.

“The look-back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that (Trump) was worried about in corruption with that nation,” Mulvaney said, adding that the pressure on Ukraine was “absolutely appropriate.”

His remarks contradict Trump’s repeated assertions there was no quid pro quo directly connecting the military aid to Trump’s own political prospects.

In written remarks to The Columbian, Herrera Beutler said Congress’ goal should be “to uncover the full truth.”

She repeated her previous assertion, that the House needed to vote to open a formal impeachment inquiry so that Republicans acquire impeachment power.

“Members of Congress aren’t being given access to all of the facts. For instance, yesterday, I requested to view the written transcript of the testimony from the U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker. I made the request to Chairman Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee that took the testimony and was denied. That testimony was two weeks ago, contained no classified information but was taken and is being kept behind closed doors — denied to members of Congress and the public,” Herrera Beutler wrote.

“I’m a sitting U.S. representative with top-secret clearance. If impeachment came to the House floor, I would be given a vote — yet, I’m left to rely on media leaks and selective bits of information released by Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and Chairman (Adam) Schiff about what happened. This is no way to conduct a process where truth is the goal.”

In a conversation with The Columbian’s Editorial Board on Oct. 10, Herrera Beutler said the House should formally hold a vote to launch an impeachment inquiry, citing the need for Congresswide subpoena power to grant the investigation bipartisan legitimacy.

Asked on Thursday whether Herrera Beutler would vote “yes” to open such an impeachment inquiry into Trump, the congresswoman’s spokeswoman, Angie Riesterer, said Herrera Beutler would “have to see what was put forward.”

A running list from The New York Times indicates that 228 House members support opening an impeachment inquiry. No Republicans are on that list.

Asked how Herrera Beutler would currently vote on whether to impeach Trump, Riesterer wrote:

“Democrats know they haven’t laid the groundwork and even many of them would be uncomfortable taking such a vote at this point. So far we have call notes, media leaks and secret testimony that even most members of Congress can’t access. There have been no public hearings, limited cross-examination, no ability for the other side to call their own witnesses, no real due process of any kind, and no articles of impeachment have even been introduced. Further, if any member tells you their vote today is a ‘yes,’ we know that’s coming from a purely partisan perspective — based on leaks, innuendo, speculation and deception — not based on facts, because we don’t have them yet. Your question is about 100 steps premature. But, if House Democratic leadership lost their minds, abandoned all pretense of fairness and due process and scheduled an impeachment vote for today, I’m sure Jaime would vote against it, in large part because of the wildly unfair and dangerous precedents such a vote would set at this early step in the process.”

Columbian staff writer

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