Requests records of calls with Chinese and Russian presidents
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on President Trump’s request for China to investigate Vice President Biden and the president’s assertion that he has an “absolute right” to enlist foreign countries to interfere in U.S. elections:
“It’s illegal to ask foreign governments to help you win elections by investigating political rivals. It’s even more troubling to hear the president request assistance from a country that doesn’t respect democracy or free and fair elections.
“China is an authoritarian government. It suppresses free speech and jails political dissidents. The president shouldn’t be inviting China to interfere in our elections.
“It’s been reported that President Trump made similar requests for a politically motivated investigation on an earlier call with President Xi Jinping and that transcript was hidden on the same highly secured server as the summary of the Ukrainian call. Congress must have access to all records of those calls and all other calls with foreign leaders in which the president’s political rivals were discussed.
“The president is trying to distract from the impeachment inquiry by now claiming these requests are really about rooting out foreign corruption. We all understand that is not true and can’t let him change the subject, particularly as he seeks to undermine the upcoming election.
“What we heard from the president violates campaign finance laws. More fundamentally, it’s a betrayal of public trust, abuse of his office and an attack on our constitutional system. The president’s conduct – both in public and in private conversations with foreign leaders – demands a thorough investigation. That must remain the focus.”