He says it’s important to get all the information out to the American people.
Frederick, Md (KM). This week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to begin televised public impeachment hearings against President Trump. Recently, the House voted in favor of formalizing this inquiry. Representative David Trone (D-Md) voted in favor. “This is overcoming everything at this point, and this disagreement has really led to inaction in a lot of areas,” he says. “I think we need to know the truth. Whatever that is, it needs to come out; and it needs to be in public.”
Trone is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which held closed-door depositions with potential witnesses who could testify when the public hearings begin. He takes issue with Republicans who have complained that the hearings are not out in the open. “The hearings at this point have been exactly 50-50 on questioning. It’s funny sometimes I hear in the news that some folks said they weren’t part of the hearing. Yet they were all in the room with me. Each side asked 50% of the questions 50% of the time. So I think that’s the fairest way you can do it,” he says.
During impeachment inquiries against President Nixon and Clinton, Trone says a number of meetings and depositions were held in secure rooms behind closed doors.
The Democratically-controlled House of Representatives started the impeachment inquiry after hearing about a telephone call between President Trump and the President of Ukraine. In that call, Trump is alleged to have promised to release $391-million in military aid to Ukraine if that nation would investigate Presidential contender Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, who was on the board of an energy company.
“If I heard that in business, that’s called a bribe,” says Trone. “And that doesn’t sit well with me.”
During an interview with WFMD News, Trone was asked if President Trump should be impeached and removed from office. “We certainly don’t know that at this point time. The investigation has a long way to go yet,” he says “We need hear from both sides. We need to hear all the evidence. It would be great if we could hear that transcript.”
Trone is referring to the audio recording of the phone call between President Trump and the President of Ukraine. “The transcript has lots of areas that are blocked out and not there in its entirety. And so the transcript should come out, the actual voice transcript,” he says. “Just like we’ve recorded an interview, that call was recorded as all those calls are. That should be released. And I think openness and transparency is the most important thing in government”
This whole affair is taking up a lot of time, and Trone says it’s a diversion from the issues Congress needs to tackle, such as the opioid crisis, the high cost of prescription drugs and the mental health of first responders. . “Unfortunately, we have to do. and it’s absolutely gotten in the way. It’s consumed a tremendous amount of time that America should be thinking about, and talking about,” he says.
By Kevin McManus