Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) said that he believes impeachment proceedings should “move forward” now — a move he was previously reluctant to support
“I've been one that's been reluctant to do more than investigate,” the congressman told Yahoo Finance. “I wanted to see the facts. You know, we've heard about hush money to girlfriends. We've been worried about money from foreign governments being used to pay for hotel rooms at Trump hotels.”
“But this one's different,” he explained. “This one involves people's lives. Lives are directly at stake. National security is at stake. And I think it's so important for us to move forward now, because this just really flies in the face of pretty much everything I think America stands for.”
The Congressman spoke to Yahoo Finance as Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified before the House Intelligence Committee. Committee members grilled the DNI, pressing him for information on why he withheld the whistleblower complaint that the Inspector General deemed “credible.”
“The memo that was released yesterday was incriminating enough that the president was trying to force Ukraine to do his bidding politically,” Perlmutter said. “And then to get the information in the complaint that it looks like they were trying to hide it away, cover it up, it's just more damning, I think.”
“The fact that they want to lock it away in a national security file so that nobody sees it or can't have access to it— that is very troubling,” the congressman continued.
In her announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) alleged that Maguire had violated the law when he withheld the whistleblower complaint.
“The law is unequivocal,” Pelosi said in her statement. “The D.N.I. staff — the D.N.I., director of national intelligence — shall provide Congress the full whistle-blower complaint.”
Rep. Perlmutter agreed with Pelosi.
“Well, I think the statute is very clear,” he explained. “The whistleblower complaint from the Inspector General was given within 14 days to the DNI. He had, it said-- and in seven days, he shall turn it over to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. And because the White House told him not to, he didn't. I mean, the law couldn't be clearer.”
The complaint was eventually released on Thursday morning.
In her announcement of an inquiry, Pelosi instructed all six House committees to submit information that could be used as part of an impeachment case. The House Financial Services committee established an Oversight and Investigation subcommittee solely dedicated to investigating President Trump’s ties to Deutsche Bank, according to a committee aide.
But Perlmutter says subpoenaed documents haven’t yet been provided to the committee.
“So we've been asking for the bank records from Deutsche Bank since the March of 2017,” the congressman explained. “When Democrats took the majority in January, we asked again. Deutsche Bank was prepared to turn over the bank records. Trump Organization objected, went to court. The district court said, turn over the records. Trump Organization appealed it. And now we're up on appeal.”
“The documents really haven't been turned over yet. And the question is, will they show money coming from Russia to one or more Trump organizations? We just don't know, because we don't have the documents yet.”
Kristin Myers is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.