Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez championed the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s interactions with Ukraine as a crucial chance to prevent future interference in the 2020 election.
Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s demand for a narrow inquiry focusing on Trump’s conversations with Ukraine an “understandable directive.”
“This Ukraine allegation is head and shoulders, one of the most serious and urgent allegations that we have seen come out of this administration to date,” she told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo Prime Time,” arguing that it had convinced more lawmakers on impeachment than any other issue.
Trump repeatedly pushed for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a potential 2020 political rival, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, during a July 25 phone call, according to a transcript of the conversation released by the White House earlier Wednesday.
On the call, Zelensky agreed to the President’s request, promising that the next prosecutor general “will look into the situation specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue.”
There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
Ocasio-Cortez characterized the inquiry as a chance to preemptively protect the upcoming 2020 election and stop interference before it happens.
“We have the opportunity to act now to prevent a profoundly destabilizing action and intervention in our democracy before it happens,” she said. “And I think that is a profoundly urgent action that we need to take right now.”
While other House investigations into Trump’s alleged misdeeds were important, they addressed “things that have unfortunately already happened,” she said.” When it comes to Ukraine we are talking about a potential meddling in the 2020 election that has still yet to happen.”
Ocasio-Cortez slammed Trump as having created a national security threat and participated in “a series of events that looks like extortion” in delaying military aid to Ukraine and “asking for a favor to essentially benefit (himself) politically.”
Trump on Wednesday denied any wrongdoing, saying there was “no pressure whatsoever” in his phone call with Zelensky. He has also claimed that the delay was unrelated to Biden and that he was waiting for European nations to contribute their fair share of aid.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen, Katelyn Polantz, Pamela Brown, Evan Perez and David Shortell contributed to this report.