Elizabeth Warren says impeachment inquiry should focus on Ukraine for now


“Right now, I’d like to just see us do the Ukraine issue because it is so clear and it is such a clear violation of law,” the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview in her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the day after the release of a stunning whistleblower complaint about Trump and his conduct.

“The President is asking for help against one of his political rivals and asking a foreign government for a thing of value for himself personally. That’s against the law,” she continued.

Warren’s comments come as Democrats debate how broadly to draft articles of impeachment against the President. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats in a private meeting on Wednesday that she wants to focus on Trump’s conversations with Ukraine, according to several sources involved in the discussions. A resolution that is more broad could make it more complicated to get the necessary votes on the House floor, according to multiple Democratic sources.
But some Democrats who backed impeachment earlier on said they want the focus of the inquiry to include findings of potential obstruction of justice, saying Trump shouldn’t be let off the hook for allegedly trying to thwart former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Others say the inquiry should address Trump’s involvement in alleged hush-money payments to prevent stories of his alleged affairs from coming out before the 2016 election.

The whistleblower complaint detailed various ways in which the whistleblower believed Trump sought to “solicit interference” from Ukraine ahead of the 2020 election, including by encouraging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig into Hunter Biden’s past. It also laid out an alleged pattern of efforts by the White House to cover up those attempts.

The White House released a transcript of a call between Trump and Zelensky, showing Trump repeatedly pushing his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Biden and his son. The transcript has drawn further scrutiny because it had been moved to a highly secure server. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

“They didn’t leave that transcript in the regular course of transcripts of phone calls with foreign leaders. Why? Because it wasn’t a regular call,” Warren said. “It was a call that violated the law. And so their immediate instinct is: Let’s block it out. Let’s make sure nobody can see it. Let’s cover it up.”

On whether she believes any Senate Republicans would vote to convict Trump, Warren answered: “I don’t know.”

“I think everyone in Congress should be called on to vote,” she added. “Everyone who took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and then they should have to live with that vote forever.”

Warren, who has risen in recent polls and is running neck-and-neck with Joe Biden, said she hoped the impeachment process could be wrapped up before voting in the Democratic primary begins in February. She has called on the House to begin impeachment proceedings since April after the release of Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Asked whether Hunter Biden’s business dealings should be off limits in the 2020 campaign, Warren pivoted back to Trump.

“I believe that this issue is about Donald Trump and that’s where we need to keep our focus,” she said. “He is the President of the United States and he has solicited a foreign government interfering in our 2020 election. That is a threat to democracy and it is a threat to our Constitution. That’s where we need to focus.”

Warren also told CNN on Friday that she worries for the safety of the whistleblower, whose identity remains unknown to the public. She said Trump and his administration are “doing their best to try to cover this up and discredit anyone who’s trying to get to the truth.”

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire on Thursday testified before the House Intelligence Committee about the complaint and defended the whistleblower, saying the whistleblower “did the right thing.”

More than half of the House of Representatives now supports an inquiry, after Pelosi announced Tuesday a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump.

CNN’s Manu Raju and Haley Byrd contributed to this report.

Source : CNN