Montana’s lone voice in the U.S. House says focused efforts on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump are “misplaced.”
Republican Greg Gianforte says he does not believe Trump was leveraging a favor when he asked the president of Ukraine to look into political rival, Joe Biden. A transcript of the call, which was not verbatim, is now central to the inquiry.
This week President Trump said he will not comply with the inquiry.
Kayla Desroches with Yellowstone Public Radio News spoke with Gianforte Friday.
Kayla Desroches: What do you think about the Trump administration saying it won't comply with the impeachment inquiry?
Greg Gianforte: Well I think this focus that the Democrats have on impeachment is misplaced and we, really, there's so much stuff we could be working on, on a bipartisan basis. In fact, on Energy and Commerce, the committee I serve on, we just passed 26 bills out of committee that would get prescription drug prices down, end surprise billing. We ought to be focused on getting those bills on the floor and passed into law so that Americans’ lives are improved.
KD: Do you think it's ethical to ask for foreign assistance to investigate a political opponent?
GG: You know, I read the transcript. I don't believe there's any quid pro quo there. In fact, I think the Democrats were surprised when the transcript was released, thinking there was some kind of smoking gun there. Clearly there's none. And this has been the focus of the Democrats since day one, and there's a lot of stuff that Republicans and Democrats agree on that the American people need done and that's really where our focus should be.
KD: Does it concern you that the president is bucking regular order by refusing to come before House committees?
GG: Congress has the ability to impeach a president, but it's always started with a vote on the House floor and regular order would be to allow the House to vote. In fact, the president has said he will comply with these requests if Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats would follow regular order. If they want to impeach, they have the majority to do it. They should put it to a vote on the House floor and then proceed appropriately.
Gianforte is running for governor in 2020.
Editor's note: NPR reported Tuesday that a senior administration official declined to comment on whether the Administration would cooperate with the investigation if a floor vote is held. Neither the Constitution nor the rules of the House compel a full House vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry.