CEDAR RAPIDS — Sen. Joni Ernst didn’t defend Republicans ordering pizza in a room where secret testimony about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is being heard, but she supports her House colleagues’ attempt to bring more openness to Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
The Iowa Republican also has signed on to a resolution by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham condemning the House impeachment inquiry that Graham said sends “a strong signal to our House colleagues that you’re off script here.”
The resolution, which had 44 GOP co-signers by late Thursday, came after more than a dozen House Republicans, including Iowa 4th District Rep. Steve King, forced their way Wednesday into a secure room where members can hear classified information, demanding to sit in on a closed-door deposition.
The resolution simply is about encouraging House majority Democrats to follow the process used in previous impeachment investigations “and the president is given a fair opportunity,” Ernst told reporters Thursday.
“What we’re seeing in the House is the fact that Democrats have been so heck-bent on making sure they impeach this president that they’re just randomly acting through this inquiry process,” she said. “It’s not open. It’s not transparent.”
“We’re not stating one way or another what is out there on the president’s actions,” Ernst said. In fact, she can’t defend the president’s actions “because I haven’t seen all of the information.”
In reading the notes on Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president, Ernst didn’t see any impeachable offense. However, she assumes the House will send the articles of impeachment.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
“When they do,” she said, “I want to make sure we are hearing the evidence presented and any rebuttal that might come from any additional witnesses that the administration might bring forward.”
Comments: (319) 398-8375; firstname.lastname@example.org