CBS19, COURTENEY STUART
Since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry over allegations that President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son, responses among elected officials in Washington have been divided along party lines. Local representatives are no exception.
Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-7th) was one of seven freshman Democrats in the House that came out in favor of the inquiry in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Tuesday.
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Spanberger said the release of the transcript of a phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky only bolsters her belief that an impeachment inquiry is the right thing to do.
“It affirms that we need to continue to use every authority that Congress has to really dig into this issue and to determine if this whole scope of these allegations against the president are true or are false,” she said.
Representative Denver Riggleman (R-5th) responded to the impeachment announcement on Tuesday with a tweet. He called it a “political distraction” that is “based upon a second hand account from an unnamed insider.”
In a phone interview Wednesday after seeing the transcript, Riggleman said he doesn’t see any evidence that the president acted improperly.
“I think at this point, as we move forward, we’re going to look at Democrats moving the goalposts because what they originally said was completely wrong,” he said. “So really to me, it’s why are we continuing down this road? Why don’t we say, ‘Hey, we were wrong about this. Let’s go ahead and do some legislation for the American people.'”
Both Riggleman and Spanberger said they want Congress to have access to the whistleblower complaint before making a final determination.