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San Diego Congresswoman Susan Davis Discusses Impeachment Inquiry

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The Congresswoman discusses why she moved to support an impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

Speaker 1: 00:00 It was the topic of Sunday political talk shows new developments in Donald Trump's impeachment inquiry, yet not a single white house official to talk about it. This as a second whistleblower has come forward with information about Trump's July call with Ukraine's president, one of two attempts to get a foreign entity to investigate the Bidens today. Members of Congress are still on recess as the impeachment inquiry moves forward and house committees subpoena the white house Pentagon chief and acting director of office management and budget for documents. Joining us is San Diego, Congresswoman Susan Davis, who is here in San Diego. Congresswoman Davis. Welcome.

Speaker 2: 00:39 Thank you very much. It's delightful to be with you.

Speaker 1: 00:41 You know, the last time you spoke with mid day edition, it was about your upcoming retirement, but a lot's happened in Washington since then. Uh, you know, what is your impression of how the impeachment inquiry is unfolding in Washington?

Speaker 2: 00:54 Well, in many ways I think it's an unfolding very much the way that the speaker Pelosi, I think I had hoped initially and uh, I was really with her on this. I felt that we needed to continue to investigate, to continue to investigate with some very important questions. But all that really changed. Uh, when the president, when it was revealed that the president had had these conversations with Ukrainians, president and, uh, and from that time on, many, many new issues are unfolding. As you all well know,

Speaker 1: 01:29 your democratic colleagues on the San Diego delegation came out in support of an impeachment inquiry long before the communications between president Trump with Ukraine were made public. What was it about this incident in particular that led you to join them?

Speaker 2: 01:44 Specifically the concern around our national security. I think that as that, that call revealed, um, that the president was talking about withholding and military assistance, uh, and really looking to the, the president to intervene in our elections and 2020 and I think that raised a lot of concerns that this, uh, in fact may not have been. The only thing, uh, that was of concern, but it certainly was, was what brought me to look at this in, in a different way.

Speaker 1: 02:20 And you've been in San Diego on recess. What are you hearing from your constituents? Are voters as split as some polls suggest?

Speaker 2: 02:27 Most of the constituents that I'm hearing from are wanting us to continue to move forward, uh, that they believe that it's very, very critical for our democracy. That is very, very critical for our elections that are on the horizon, uh, that we get to the heart of this.

Speaker 1: 02:51 You know, if it's, if it's unlikely that the Republican controlled Senate will remove the president and with the election not too far away, why, and impeachment inquiry,

Speaker 2: 03:01 again, I, I think it's, it's really, uh, not so much, uh, about whether or not they are going to support it, but whether or not somebody has to put a stop to this kind of behavior, it's behavior that suggests, um, that the president is above the law. I, I love the fact that Colin Powell, I believe it was, he just spoke on a, on a, on Sunday saying, this is about we, the people are not, we the president,

Speaker 1: 03:28 you know, the president said on Friday that he won't comply with Congress's request until the full house votes on the Democrats impeachment inquiry. Do you think a full vote by the house should take place?

Speaker 2: 03:38 Well, it's certainly not necessary, but I know that we certainly have colleagues who are very exasperated by the president's behavior. I don't know that they would be willing to come forward in a public vote, but generally I think if we could get, get these subpoenas moving because they're out, they are being resisted or the information is being resisted as we will know, then I think it's obvious to the general public that this is the way to go. And I'm not sure that they necessarily feel that it's required to do that. Certainly not by the law.

Speaker 1: 04:13 Do you think the fight over impeachment will end up in court?

Speaker 2: 04:16 It's possible that it could. Um, but again, I'm, I'm really hoping that the information, uh, that's coming forward and, and some of the push that's coming from Republican leaders as well over the years. Um, I'm hopeful that that might convince members that the, the process itself, the impeachment inquiry itself, which brings forth many of these concerns that have been expressed very specifically around the Ukrainian issue, uh, that, that will convince members to, um, be more open and not be as fearful about, uh, their election, uh, as they are about what happens to our democracy if this is not addressed properly.

Speaker 1: 05:03 And, and if the public continues to view this process as highly partisan, could that backfire on Democrats going into 20, 20?

Speaker 2: 05:10 Well, I think you could say that it certainly could, um, that possibility exists. And that's really why I think that we have tried to, uh, to, to move forward in, in a somber way, in a serious way, and to, um, convince our colleagues, uh, that they also need to be part of this. And in the end, uh, we, we're not predicting exactly what's going to happen at all, but that we should move forward with the inquiry.

Speaker 1: 05:41 And switching gears a bit, when you get back to Washington next week, what sort of legislative business do you expect to tackle?

Speaker 2: 05:47 Well, there are a lot of things that have been going on. It's interesting. I think that there's been so much focus really on, on the impeachment, but the reality is that, um, we've been taking up a, a number of bills, 51 in all resolutions. We also have been, uh, really having some very serious discussions about how we can lower prescription drug prices, protect preexisting conditions, but there are many other issues that are being dealt with and I think members will be anxious to get back and focus on those as well. I sit on the armed services committee of course, and sit on the conference committee as we deal with the, the latest, uh, national defense authorization. And, uh, those discussions will continue as soon as we get back. And uh, and many others.

Speaker 1: 06:37 And you know, you mentioned a lower drug costs, uh, there was also optimism, Congress would act on gun reform and a trade deal with Mexico. But do you think the impeachment probe has already sucked all the oxygen out of the room?

Speaker 2: 06:49 Well, I think that that's a concern, but I don't know why that has to be because those issues around gun violence, certainly here in the San Diego community where we've had a strong activism, we're fortunate that California certainly is far more aggressive about this and in other areas, but we feel this is important as a national issue. And I'm hoping that we can address those as well. And the, um, US-Mexican canal, uh, Canada agreement, we are, we are pretty close, uh, on some of those. And I think that, uh, that's an issue that I, I hope that we can work through and we'll have bipartisan support.

Speaker 1: 07:32 I've been speaking with Congresswoman Susan Davis, Congresswoman Davis. Thank you so much.

Speaker 2: 07:37 Sure. My pleasure.

Speaker 3: 07:44 [inaudible].

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Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.