Commentary: I was elected to serve New Mexico — to attract healthcare providers to rural towns, fix our broken border policy, and invest in infrastructure to save lives and bring our whole country into the 21st century. Every time I get a news alert that distracts from this work, I want to turn it off. But I do not have that luxury.
About two weeks ago, reports were published that President Trump withheld military aid to pressure the Ukrainian President into interfering with our national election. If true, President Trump’s efforts to leverage the power of his office for personal political gain is evidence he put America’s national security at risk.
After reviewing the transcript of President Trump’s call with the Ukrainian President, I called for an investigation of the facts. I stated that “(t)he President must … allow any testimony by the whistleblower, or any other administration officials, to occur free of White House interference.” I refused to call this investigation an impeachment inquiry after solemn deliberation, because I believed our best hope of finding the truth is to review the facts in as unbiased a manner as possible. However, it is our shared duty to examine the evidence and weigh the consequences, not for partisan gain, but for our country, its security and the integrity of our elections.
Earlier this week, the president and his administration made it clear to New Mexicans that they are not committed to finding the truth. They took unprecedented steps to prevent the facts from coming forward. The White House and the State Department stopped a key witness from testifying before Congress and the White House issued a letter refusing to cooperate at all with the investigation.
If we refuse to seek the truth, we risk our safety and the integrity of the very Constitution I swore to support and defend. Tuesday’s actions by the president and the administration left me with no other way to get the information the country deserves than to support an impeachment inquiry.
To be very clear, I have not reached judgment on the president’s actions, nor on the appropriate response, but I need the facts to make these weighty decisions.
Despite this dark, turbulent time for our country, I am inspired by the people of New Mexico. This last week, I’ve talked with rural doctors focused on getting care to patients who can’t afford expensive treatments or travel for services. I’ve worked with tribal leaders focused on getting water to families who still have to haul it. I’ve listened to business owners trying to keep our border thriving in the midst of an uncertain trade economy. I’ve spoken to industry leaders leading the fight for safe streets in the Permian Basin, and I’ve learned from NMSU students who want to find a way to build their future here in New Mexico. The people of New Mexico are doing the work that needs to be done, and I will stay focused on doing that work with them. It is what I came to Congress to do.