President Donald Trump on Thursday called for China to investigate a possible political rival in the 2020 campaign — former Vice President Joe Biden.
“China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened with China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Trump told reporters on Thursday, according to Fox News.
House Democrats last month launched an impeachment inquiry based on a whistleblower complaint asserting that Trump asked Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden — one of the frontrunners for the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump in 2020. It is illegal to seek foreign assistance in a U.S. election.
RealVail.com localized the national scandal for readers of the Vail Daily on Wednesday, getting the local congressional representatives on the record. Here’s that story:
Trump campaign co-chair Tipton seeks facts in Ukraine probe
Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton, a Cortez Republican who represents the western two-thirds of Eagle County in Washington, says he’s “committed to reviewing the facts of any ongoing investigation” into whether President Donald Trump should be impeached for allegedly seeking Ukrainian help against former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
Tipton, a five-term congressman who also represents 28 other Western Slope and southern Colorado counties, was recently named by the Republican National Committee as a 2020 Trump campaign honorary state co-chair along with Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn.
Asked Wednesday about the growing Ukraine scandal and subsequent impeachment inquiry by six U.S. House committees, Tipton said he wants to know more.
“I supported releasing the relevant documents to the American people and I remain committed to reviewing the facts of any ongoing investigation, including what happened before and after the U.S.-Ukrainian military aid transfer, any possible conflicts of interest with former U.S. officials, and, of course, ensuring that future U.S. elections are free from any foreign influence,” Tipton said in an email via a congressional spokesman.
“Impeachment calls made before an investigation has concluded are premature,” Tipton added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month launched an impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower flagged a July call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which the U.S. president seems to make a military aid package approved by Congress contingent on Ukraine investigating Biden – a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in 2020.
According to the chair of the Federal Election Commission, “It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.”
Trump on Wednesday tweeted that by pursuing the impeachment inquiry Democrats are “wasting everyone’s time and energy on BULLSHIT …”
Former Routt County commissioner and state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, one of three Democrats currently seeking the nomination to take on Tipton next year, says the RNC’s designation of Tipton as an honorary Trump campaign co-chair is not surprising – even in a state Hillary Clinton won by five points in 2016.
“The RNC announcement that Scott Tipton will be Honorary Co-chair of President Trump’s Colorado Reelection Committee underscores a key fact about Tipton: Scott Tipton does NOT represent US,” Mitsch Bush wrote in an email. “He does a great job representing his mega donors, dark money groups, and Washington insiders. He has been a mouthpiece for the President. He has not stood up for us.”
A Tipton campaign spokesman did not return an email requesting comment on the RNC’s co-chair designation.
Tipton’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District is largely rural and majority white. It encompasses all or parts of 29 counties – or nearly half of the state’s total of 64 counties – and stretches from Pueblo in the south all the way to the Utah state line in the west.
While it’s considered fairly safe Trump country, Mitsch Bush came as close as any Democrat to upsetting Tipton in 2018, losing by just under 8 percent of the vote. Since Tipton was swept in on a Tea Party wave in 2010, three other Democrats have all lost by double digits.
The two other Democrats seeking the CD3 nomination did not return emails requesting comment.
Rep. Joe Neguse, a Boulder Democrat who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District — including the eastern third of Eagle County — has been advocating for an impeachment inquiry for months. He has been vocal in criticizing the president since the Ukraine scandal broke.
“We have seen the notes from the President’s call with Zelensky,” Neguse tweeted Sept. 30. “They show that [Trump] betrayed the trust of the American people and betrayed his oath of office. He has abused his presidential powers and it is our job to hold him accountable.”