September 24, 2019| Tom Sofield, Levittown Now
As Democratic lawmakers launch an official impeachment inquiry into Republican President Donald Trump, candidates for the First Congressional District offered their comments.
The Tuesday evening announcement from House of Representatives Speak Nancy Pelosi came as Trump faced mounting pressure following a summer phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to reports, the president may have pressured the leader of the Ukraine with a quid pro quo deal to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, for business activity the young Biden had in the country. Joe Biden is running for president in 2020 and is the Democratic frontrunner as of this week.
The issue started last week when it became public that a member of the nation’s intelligence community blew the whistle on activity inside Trump administration. The whistleblower reportedly followed procedure and alerted the nonpartisan U.S. Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, who deemed the publicly-unknown whistleblower’s complaint “serious” and “urgent.” Since that time, the full nature of the complaint has not been made public or turned over to Congress.
“This week the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically,” Pelosi said during a statement early Wednesday evening. “The actions of the Trump presidency revealed the dishonorable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”
“Therefore, today I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.”
In response to Pelosi’s announcement, Trump called the impeachment inquiry a “total Witch Hunt Scam by the Democrats” and tweeted in call caps “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT.”
Trump also stated he plans to release a transcript of the phone call that he stated was “a very friendly and totally appropriate call.”
Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s office issued the following response to the impeachment inquiry announcement:
“The Congressman disfavors the mechanism of impeachment except in the most extreme of circumstances. It is an incredibly divisive process. Unless new evidence surfaces that meets this very high threshold, the Congressman is opposed to impeachment.”
Democratic candidate for Congress Judi Reiss said:
“Congress must fulfill its constitutional duty to determine if our laws have been broken. An impeachment inquiry is the only way to find out just how far this abuse of power has gone.”
Democratic candidate for Congress Debra Wachspress said:
“Throughout his presidency, President Trump has repeatedly betrayed our democratic process and the very office he holds. It is long past time that Congress fulfills its constitutional duty to hold the president accountable for the damage he has caused. This is a president who knows no boundaries in his flagrant violation of the law – and to quote Speaker Pelosi, ‘no one is above the law.’ I am relieved to see the House preparing to do the job that its members swore to do when they entered office, and hopeful that this is a turning point for American Democracy.”
Democratic candidate for Congress Christina Finello said:
“The news this week that President Trump may have withheld foreign aid in an effort to coerce Ukraine to investigate one of his political opponents is shocking and, if true, an unacceptable abuse of power. I support Speaker Pelosi’s decision to begin an impeachment inquiry, and urge the House of Representatives to make full use of their constitutional authority to investigate the President’s conduct in this matter. No one is above the law, and every member of Congress has a duty to make sure that our laws and Constitution are upheld.”
Republican candidate for Congress Andrew Meehan said:
“This is the latest in a long line of failed attacks on President Donald Trump by Nancy Pelosi and a Democrat party hijacked by extreme leftist partisans and socialist ideology. As your next Republican congressman for PA District 01, Andy Meehan will continue to fight for our president, for our shared Republican values, and for equal justice under the law.”
Editor’s Note: Democratic candidate Christina Finello has been added to this story.
Editor’s Note: Publisher/Editor Tom Sofield’s father, Chris, is working with Meehan’s campaign.