Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) says he wants answers about President Trump’s conduct related to a recent whistleblower complaint alleging Trump used his office to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son while withholding nearly $400 million in foreign aid to the country.
When asked whether he supports the impeachment inquiry into the president, Upton told Stephen Henderson on WDET’s Detroit Today, “Yeah, I want the answers to the questions that need to be raised.”
WDET contacted Upton’s office after the comments to ask if this is the Congressman’s position. A spokesperson for Upton sent this statement:
“This is not accurate. Fred voted twice last week to disapprove of the impeachment inquiry. He supports getting all the facts out surrounding this situation. There are a number of questions still to be answered. He will not make a conclusion before all the facts are out.”
As of October 2, at the time of this conversation, no Republicans in Congress have come out fully in support of the impeachment inquiry. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.) left the Republican party earlier this year as he came out in support of impeaching the president. Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nevada) said he supports an “oversight process” but pushed back on reports that say he supported the impeachment inquiry.
Click on the player above to hear the exchange between Rep. Upton and Stephen Henderson about the impeachment inquiry, and read a transcript below.
Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today: Fred I want to start with you. Because I would love to have you address what we are hearing about the President of the United States right now, who of course is a member of your party. Impeachment is the issue that is on lots of people’s minds right now. But specifically, I think people are really concerned about how Republicans are reacting to the things we’re seeing, and whether they are putting party before country in the way they are reacting.
Rep. Fred Upton: Well let me say a couple things. First of all, we’re out of session, we left, all of us, last week. I thought, maybe this is a good thing we’re not there for the next two weeks.
I’ll tell you what I thought was a key vote last week, following the Senate. Every member, Republican and Democrat, of the House and the Senate, voted for a resolution to make public the phone transcript and the accompanying [Inspector General] report. Rather than keep it hidden in the just Intelligence Committee, because we want the facts. That’s really what this is about.
As I carefully read it a couple times, both the transcript the IG report. It prompts me to say there are a lot of questions to be asked. I don’t know what the answers are yet. I am not going to reach a conclusion, it’s way too early for me to reach a conclusion on this. And I think that that’s probably where most of my Republicans are. And we’re going to wait and see, in essence, what the findings are.
Henderson: If you look at the transcript that was released, we see the president speaking with a foreign leader and saying there’s an issue with Joe Biden, there’s an issue with his son, we would like you to look into that. Tell me why that, on its face, that’s not, A: a violation of his oath of office, B: a campaign finance violation, but C: an extraordinary example of an interaction between our president and a foreign leader. I have never seen anything like that before.
Rep. Upton: I’ll take the language from somebody on the Intelligence Committee, it was televised, Mike Turner, a colleague, good friend. He, during the hearing that was on last week, said, I want to say, and I’m paraphrasing here, it’s not okay. It’s not okay. But let’s look at the whole train of events here, let’s find out what happened. Questions to be asked include, what about the now-former U.S. ambassador, was she career? Was she forced? That’s going to be an issue that they look like. What’s Giuliani’s role? This is the very beginning of what many of us say is no joy in Mudville. No one really wants to go through it. We have so many issues that we have to work on, this is now going to be one of them. We’ll see where it takes us.
Henderson: So you’re supporting…
Rep. Upton: I want to see the… I’m anxious to see how the process unfolds. The different committees, there’s not going to be one as there has been before, just the Judiciary Committee, whereas back in the 70’s, [former U.S. Senator] Sam Ervin, just the [Watergate] Select Committee. Let’s really look at all the details, ask lots of questions and see where it takes us.
Henderson: So you’re supportive of the idea that there needs to be this inquiry. You’re not questioning that.
Rep. Upton: Yeah, I want the answers to the questions that need to be raised.
Henderson: I wonder what you’re hearing from your Republican colleagues about this. You say you’re not in session, so…
Rep. Upton: This happened at the very end of last week. So we all got on our plane, we all came back… Thanks to our good staff we have really big schedules all over our district. There’s not been a conference call. There’s been almost no interaction. Even I know Kevin McCarthy, our leader on our side, was on 60 Minutes. I missed the whole thing, it was my mom’s 90th birthday. So… hello mom.
Henderson: Happy birthday.
Rep. Upton: It was a good birthday.