Democratic lawmaker says Trump call with Ukraine leader put national security ‘at risk’

09/26/19

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) warned Thursday that President Trump’s conversation with Ukraine’s leader, in which Trump urged him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, poses a “risk” to U.S. national security interests.

“The president abused the power of his office,” the Illinois lawmaker told Hill.TV. “He put at risk our national security interests as well as our foreign policy objectives for his own personal and political gain.”

Schneider said he initially called for an impeachment inquiry over the summer following the release of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report, but that the latest revelation surrounding Trump’s alleged misconduct only intensifies the seriousness of the need to take action.

“The new allegations — the Ukraine story — in and of itself is an entirely different lane and an entirely higher level,” he told Hill.TV.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Tuesday that the House would launch a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump following reports that the president had asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into Biden and his son Hunter.

The White House released a partial transcript of the July 25 phone call on Wednesday. The document confirmed the request made by Trump and revealed that he encouraged Zelensky to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

House and Senate Intelligence committee members on Wednesday got their first look at the whistleblower complaint detailing Trump’s call with the Ukraine leader.

The document, which was declassified late Wednesday and released on Thursday, alleges that Trump sought to enlist Ukraine’s help in the 2020 election by launching a corruption investigation into Biden and his son.

Trump, meanwhile, has denied any wrongdoing and downplayed his communications with Ukraine.

—Tess Bonn

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