Rep. Kathy Castor On Trump Impeachment Inquiry: 'This Is A Very Serious Time For America'
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor is calling the whistleblower at the center of a growing scandal surrounding President Trump, as well as whoever gave them information about Trump's actions, "patriots."
She also accused the President of threatening their safety in an attempt to discredit them.
The Tampa Democrat made the remarks after an event at MacDill Air Force Base on Monday. She said she believes Trump attempted to trade military aid to Ukraine to benefit his own political interests.
“That cuts to the heart of our national security, and standing here at MacDill Air Force Base where our national security is paramount and service members have come in and out for decades to stand up and protect our country, it just kind of hits home,” she said.
Castor said the impeachment inquiry is a "very serious time for America."
President Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing when it comes to his interactions with the Ukrainian President, which sparked the scandal. He defends the phone conversation the two leaders had as “perfect.”
Public opinion on the issue is largely divided along party lines, although some Republicans have not backed the President.
Castor is urging Americans to not let party affiliation sway their opinions.
"When you do the Pledge of Allegiance and you put your hand over your heart, you pledge that we're an indivisible nation, and that's what needs to happen moving forward, standing up for our national security and against a colossal abuse of power," she said.
The whistleblower is expected to testify privately before the House Intelligence Committee, though it is not clear when.
Castor said she thought the whistleblower’s complaint was well-resourced and is encouraging the public to stay informed.
"I trust the American people to read for themselves, to stop listening to talking points that are issued and read these documents for yourself,” she said.
The House Intelligence Committee has also subpoenaed President Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, for documents related to the Ukraine controversy to be turned over by Oct. 15.
Even if the House were to impeach Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate would have to hold its own trial and get a two-thirds majority vote to convict and remove him.
Though past presidents have been impeached, none have ever been removed from office.