Congressman Adam Kinzinger said Tuesday he is reserving judgment until more information is released whether President Donald Trump used his presidential powers to seek help from a foreign government for his re-election.
In a Fox News interview Monday, Kinzinger said if Trump did, he doesn’t believe it rises to the level of impeachment.
“But it is highly inappropriate if it was done,” the Channahon Republican said, adding “there’s a lot we don’t know and that’s why I hope the transcript of the call (in question) is released.”
Kinzinger’s comments on Fox News were made on the eve of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launching a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump on Tuesday.
The probe centers on whether Trump abused his presidential powers and sought help from Ukraine for his re-election. Pelosi said such actions would mark a “betrayal of his oath of office” and declared, “No one is above the law,” according to Associated Press reports.
Prior to Pelosi’s news conference, Kinzinger’s office shared a written statement Tuesday that “Congressman Kinzinger looks forward to reviewing the transcript, which will be released by the president (Wednesday), and he will reserve judgment until such information is brought to light.”
Kinzinger added it is “deeply concerning to see Democrats jump ahead of the facts to satiate their desire for impeachment proceedings to begin,” noting impeachment is a serious charge and not to be taken lightly.
At issue are Trump’s actions with Ukraine. In a summer phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, he is said to have asked for help investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. In the days before the call, Trump ordered advisers to freeze $400 million in military aid for Ukraine — prompting speculation he was holding out the money as leverage for information on the Bidens. Trump has denied that charge, but acknowledged he blocked the funds, later released.
Trump says he has directed the release Wednesday of the “unredacted” transcript of his July phone call with the Ukrainian president.
Trump has acknowledged he discussed Biden in the call. The president tweeted Tuesday that “You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure.”
In his conversation Monday with Fox News, Kinzinger said the president needs to listen to the people around him or “he’s going to get himself in real trouble if he’s not careful.”
Kinzinger said no foreign government should have an influence on the U.S. election, nor should an American president utilize his power to affect an election, calling the action wrong and one that should not be defended.
” … if there’s any impropriety there we need to know,” Kinzinger said to Fox News on Monday. “But never should a president of the United States ever use the natural power instruments to basically help himself in a political race.”
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: The Daily Chronicle