Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) held a last-minute press conference Thursday morning to update Tennesseans on her work in Washington and weigh in on key issues in the news, including the Congressional impeachment inquiry.
She began with a discussion about the Occupational and Environmental Transparency Health (OATH) Act, which she introduced with Sens. Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), which would include military veterans’ exposure to harmful environments in their medical records to ensure proper care.
“This is an area, when you look at toxic exposure, that DoD and the VA are falling short and are not meeting the needs adequately for our veterans that have been exposed to harmful environments, such as burn pits,” she said. “We know that there is a lot that has to be done on looking at the adverse health effects, … so we are going to continue to work on this issue.”
She then addressed the inquiry to impeach President Donald Trump, centered on a whistleblower’s complaint that Trump has used “the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election” particularly during a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The whistleblower assured that he was not a direct witness to the call but heard about it from White House officials.
The White House released a summary of the call Wednesday, in which Trump requests assistance in an investigation of political rival Joe Biden.
“There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said on the call, according to the transcript. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it — it sounds horrible to me.”
Blackburn believes there is no impeachable material in the transcript. She said Democrats have been searching for an opportunity to impeach the president since before his inauguration and that Congress could ostracize a large portion of Americans by going through with this inquiry.
“If they move forward with it, then they are going to do this at their own risk of alienating a lot of Americans,” she said. “Based on the transcript that was released yesterday, it seems like the House Democrats might have jumped the gun on this one.”
She also addressed her vote Wednesday against a resolution to end Trump’s national emergency declaration at the southern border, expressing her support of Trump’s plans to build a wall.
Though the resolution passed 54-41, including Sen. Lamar Alexander’s favorable vote to end the national emergency, Blackburn said she considers it a “political trick bill.” Trump still holds the power to veto this decision.