“It’s plain as day the president has betrayed his oath of office,” says Rep. Kathy Castor

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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (left) holds a press conference to encourage people to vote. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (2 Oct 2018).

WMNF News asked Congress member Kathy Castor for her thoughts on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump; Castor is a Democrat representing the Tampa area and says that Trump “abused his power in trading our national security interest for a personal vendetta.”

We also asked Tuesday whether her party could suffer politically if the House votes to impeach but the Republican-controlled Senate does not convict Trump.

“This is outrageous behavior. And this is a very serious time for America.

“I encourage all Americans to put their political party affiliations aside and focus on what is right, and the basis of our Constitution.

“And the fact now that the President has admitted that he did, in fact, pressure the Ukrainian president. He put his personal political interest ahead of the United States of America’s military and National Security interest. That is plain. But now the House is proceeding in a very deliberate way, an expeditious way, to get all of that on the record.

“This Brave whistleblower will testify in closed session before the Intelligence Committee this week. Same with the intelligence community Inspector General, who by the way, was appointed by President Trump.

“The DNI (Department of National Intelligence) director Joe McGuire, who testified in open session last week, has pledged to keep the whistleblower safe, and to make that a priority. That’s very important because of the disturbing comments from the President over the past few days, threatening the whistleblower, threatened his life, threatening Adam Schiff’s life.

“This is outrageous behavior. And I think now is it time for sober deliberation and action on moving this impeachment inquiry.”

SK: You were one last to get on board when it came to impeachment. Or not one, but there were dozens that came on ….

“Actually, no one asked me. I think that the people were caught up in the semantic discussion on whether it’s an impeachment inquiry or whether it’s not. The fact was, we had six Congressional committees moving forward investigating the financial ties.

“One of the surprising aspects of all this was: I expected Mueller, the special prosecutor, to actually delve into potential financial ties between the Trump organization, President Trump, and oligarchs, other interests. He didn’t touch that. So that was then made plain that the Congressional committees had their job to do.

“But this is beyond the pale now, what has happened. Because it’s plain as day that the President has betrayed his oath of office. He’s abused his power in trading our national security interest for a personal vendetta.

“And now, these new revelations that the Secretary of State and the Attorney General were also involved is … we’re now in one of the most serious periods ever. Definitely since I’ve been representing the Tampa Bay area. And I’m a student of history. I love this country. I think everyone loves and cares for America. And, the American people now are as concerned as ever about where we go from here.”

SK: Finally, I want to ask, the most likely outcome: it seems it’s possible that the House will impeach the president. And then it will go to the Senate where there’s a majority of Republicans. And so, it’s within the realm of possibilities that the President will not be found guilty of those high crimes and misdemeanors. If that happens, will that politically affect next year’s election? Will that hurt Democrats?

“Seán, I’m not sure that anyone understands where this is going right now. We’re in uncharted territory. As the DNI Director last week said, this is unprecedented. The complaint of the whistleblower that came over was deemed of an urgent concern. And the Trump Administration, with — unbelievably — the Attorney General’s help, they’ve tried to cover it up now.

“The facts are fairly plain here. But it will be important to establish this in Congressional hearings. And move quickly because, our system of government, really, is at risk. Our status in the world, how we interact with our allies, how we confront our adversaries. Trump has turned that on its head. And this is just one of the most dire situations I’ve seen in my time.”

Watch the interview: