Western Pa. congressmen weigh in on Trump’s Ukraine dealings, impeachment inquiry | TribLIVE.com

Western Pa. congressmen weigh in on Trump’s Ukraine dealings, impeachment inquiry

Mary Ann Thomas
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, speaks on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Guy Reschenthaler gives a victory speech to supporters on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, said Tuesday afternoon that allegations of President Trump’s improper dealings with Ukraine’s new leader “add to the urgency of a full and immediate impeachment inquiry.”

Doyle, a 13-term congressman, made the remark in a news release issued just before Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House would move forward with an official impeachment inquiry of the president.

Another Western Pennsylvania congressman, U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Peters, said in his own statement that Pelosi’s move was “a sad day for our democracy.”

Calls for an inquiry have intensified following reports that Trump may have sought a foreign government’s help in his reelection bid. Trump insists he has done nothing wrong.

“The allegations in the reports that I have seen are mind-boggling,” Doyle said in his release.

At issue is a summer phone call Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which came to Congress’ attention through a whistleblower complaint.

Some Democrats have focused their outrage on reports that Trump offered a quid pro quo to Zelensky — the release of $400 million in military aid that had been authorized by Congress in exchange for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

Trump earlier Tuesday acknowledged that he had held up aid to Ukraine shortly before speaking with Zelensky, but the president has denied tying the aid to information about his possible Democratic challenger. Trump said Wednesday that he would release a transcript of his call with Zelenskiy.

“That the President of the United States would withhold Congressionally directed funds to an ally in need, in order to compel it to smear a political rival, seems to amount to blatant extortion for personal political gain,” Doyle said in his statement.

In Reschenthaler’s statement, the freshman congressman said 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.”

He added that “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.”

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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