MANCHESTER — U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says the whistleblower report on the alleged abuses of power by President Trump released Thursday raises “serious concerns” about a potential cover-up, but hopes an impeachment inquiry by the House of Representatives doesn’t drag on or further divide the country.
“I’m hopeful that this will be done very expeditiously,” the New Hampshire Democrat said Friday morning after a groundbreaking for a new mental health and urgent care building at the Manchester VA Medical Center.
The report says Trump abused his office in attempting to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 U.S. election for his benefit and the White House tried to “lock down” evidence of the exchange. In July, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic presidential candidate.
Trump has denied wrongdoing and accused Democrats of launching a “witch hunt” against him.
Shaheen, who was hesitant to comment in detail about the nine-page report because of the Senate’s role in a potential impeachment trial, said the allegations need to be taken seriously.
“I think it raises very serious concerns about what the President has done and about the potential for a cover-up and that’s why we need the facts to come out and the American people need to see what happened,” Shaheen said. “We need to hear from people who know what happened inside the White House.”
Republican leaders have continued to attack the credibility of the whistleblower and the complaint, highlighting that many of the allegations rely on secondhand information from other U.S. officials.
“Basically that person never saw the report, never saw the call,” Trump said of the whistleblower on Thursday. “Heard something, and decided that he or she or whoever the hell it is — sort of like, almost, a spy.”
The document traces Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s extensive intervention in U.S.-Ukraine affairs, including a meeting in Madrid with one of Zelensky’s senior advisers.
Shaheen, who serves on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, wants answers from Giuliani directly.
“I’ve called for him to come before the Foreign Relations Committee and testify as to what his role was and what he was trying to do, because clearly based on what has been reported to date it sounds like he was taking on responsibilities that are appropriately done by the State Department officials,” Shaheen said.