September 25, 2019

Heinrich: ‘Trump is running our government like a criminal enterprise’

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U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich slammed President Donald Trump after the release of a rough transcript of the president’s conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

“This transcript is hard evidence that President Trump is running our government like a criminal enterprise,” Heinrich said. “He has enlisted both his personal attorney and the U.S. Attorney General to coordinate with a foreign government to interfere in our election.”

The phone call took place in July and is part of a whistleblower complaint filed with the Intelligence Community Inspector General. Federal law requires that such complaints be transmitted to the House and Senate Intelligence committees. The complaint will be sent to Congress Wednesday afternoon, according to U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California; Heinrich sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In the call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential frontrunner.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” the transcript quotes Trump as saying.

Trump also suggested that an email server from 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is in Ukraine.

In addition to asking the Ukrainian president to work with U.S. Attorney General William Barr, he also suggested working with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is Trump’s personal attorney.

Before the phone call, the United States had already frozen military aid to Ukraine.

Trump’s explanation of the phone call changed as more media reports on the existence of the whistleblower complaint, and the phone call which is part of the complaint, came to light. And it resulted in the rare release of the rough transcript Wednesday morning.

The U.S. Department of Justice said the phone call where Trump asked for help investigating one of his political opponents did not violate campaign finance laws.

Heinrich, a Democrat, also announced his support for impeachment proceedings, said, “Moving forward with impeachment proceedings is not only the right thing to do, but it is our constitutional duty.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced House Democrats were opening a formal impeachment inquiry yesterday. Two of the House members from New Mexico had previously called for the inquiry and a majority of Democrats in the chamber support impeachment or an impeachment inquiry.