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Congressman Courtney Calls for Impeachment Inquiry

September 24, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) called for the House of Representatives to move forward with an impeachment inquiry related to the President and his actions. Rep. Courtney released the following statement:

“Over the last several months, I have remained firmly committed to taking the process of investigating the President’s actions in 2016 one step at a time to methodically uncover the facts, to inform the American public, and build the case for any actions that may be needed to ensure accountability wherever it is required.

“To this end, several committees of the House have been conducting rigorous oversight and investigation into allegations of obstruction of justice, corruption, and misconduct by the President and his Administration. I have supported the process of allowing these committees to utilize all of the tools available to get the answers that Congress needs, and the American people deserve. I repeated that message in telephone town halls, live town halls, chamber of commerce breakfasts and countless other public events during the last two years – sometimes to the frustration of many listeners.

“Recently, a new development has rapidly changed my thinking and the thinking of many other citizens in eastern Connecticut. On September 9, 2019, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson, who was appointed by President Trump, notified Congress that a “credible” whistleblower complaint of “urgent concern” was made regarding multiple presidential conversations in July 2019 that included extralegal promises with a foreign leader. Credible reports indicate that the president has attempted to leverage Congressionally-approved and taxpayer-funded security assistance for Ukraine to extract political benefits against a potential opponent.

“The law here is clear: if the Inspector General determines that a complaint meets the standard of ‘credible’ and of ‘urgent concern,’ then the Director of National Intelligence ‘shall’ forward the material to the House and Senate Intelligence Oversight Committees.

“But that hasn’t happened – the Trump Administration has so far blocked Joseph Maguire, Acting Director of National Intelligence, from providing Congress with the entire whistleblower complaint, which may include a series of actions. On Monday, I called on the Administration to fully comply with the law and transmit the whistleblower complaint to Congress by Thursday. So far, the administration has refused to do so and continues to obstruct our Constitutional oversight over these matters. In fact, the President today dismissed the need to follow the law and adhere to the findings of his own appointee, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.  The minimal response this afternoon to release one transcript of one call falls far short of what the law requires. 

“As a longtime member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am deeply troubled by the grave national security implications of allowing a president to abuse our system of checks and balances, and to willfully ignore Congress’s role in providing critical security aid to our partners abroad.   The American people deserve to know that their president is using the highest office in our land and the awesome power it holds to serve the national interest – not to pursue political attacks against a potential rival.

“We are at a critical moment for our nation, involving a ‘credible’ complaint concerning the actions of a sitting president happening in real-time. That is why I now believe it is time to elevate this process to a formal inquiry on the President and his potential misconduct, and to follow the facts wherever they may lead – which includes the most serious action the House can take under the Constitution: impeachment.”