Sen. Sullivan says Trump call to Ukrainian President is not grounds for impeachment

Sen. Dan Sullivan spoke at the American Legion Lynn Canal Post in Haines. (Photo by Claire Stremple/KHNS)

Sen. Dan Sullivan has not condemned President Trump for his phone call with the Ukrainian president, the one where Trump asked for an investigation of Joe Biden and his son. But Sullivan isn’t among the Republican Congress members who are offering full-throated defenses, either. At a luncheon in Haines on Monday, Sullivan offered his most extensive public remarks yet on the controversial call.

The House impeachment inquiry has dominated the news coming out of Washington. That’s since the White House revealed President Trump asked Ukranian President Zelensky to investigate Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

House leaders say Trump’s request for a foreign power to investigate a political rival is inappropriate. Some go further and say the context of his request amounts to a quid pro quo — that’s Latin for a deal, or getting something in exchange for something else.

Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan doesn’t see it that way.

“I’ve read all of this, including the transcript, it certainly does not rise to the level of impeachment,” he said.

He says there is no quid pro quo in the transcript. He urged Alaskans to read the transcripts and decide for themselves. He also bashed the national media, saying they can’t objectively interpret the transcript, whistle blower account, or Inspector General’s report.

Sullivan said investigations into the 2016 election and corruption in Ukraine are appropriate. But he stopped short of endorsing the way the president conducted the call.

“Would I use the exact language that the President uses on some of these calls? You know, probably not, but are these impeachable offenses? No. Not from my view,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan says the impeachment question threatens to slow down congress’ progress on items like his bipartisan Save Our Seas Act and a domestic violence bill he authored with Sen. Kamala Harris.

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