Hurd backs Trump-Ukraine investigation but calls impeachment "premature"

Hurd: "We should be protecting the whistleblower"

Retiring Republican Congressman Will Hurd believes Congress needs to investigate President Trump's efforts to solicit the assistance of a foreign government to dig up political dirt on domestic opponents. But he said it is too early for lawmakers to determine whether Mr. Trump needs to be impeached and removed from office. 

"There's a lot of questions to be had," Hurd said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "Anybody who thinks that we have enough information to make a statement on impeachment — that's incredibly premature."

Asked if he supports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to initiate a formal impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump's conduct while in office, Hurd largely demurred, saying the Democratic leader's announcement was "wordplay" to appease the progressive wing her caucus.

Hurd said Congress should proceed in a thoughtful, bipartisan manner to investigate the allegations made in a whistleblower complaint about Mr. Trump's call with Ukraine's leader in July. Along with detailing how the president pressured his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to order a criminal probe into former Vice President Joe Biden and his youngest son, the complaint alleged that Mr. Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, ran a rogue diplomatic campaign to communicate with the Ukrainian government on behalf of his client.

The Texas lawmaker said he would like to see State Department officials, Hunter Biden, Giuliani and the unidentified whistleblower testify on Capitol Hill. Although he believes the whistleblower's identity should be safeguarded at all costs, Hurd said that might not be possible given the political schism in Washington. 

"I hope we can protect this individual's name," he added. "I find it highly unlikely in this incredibly partisan environment — It's unfortunate."

  • Camilo Montoya-Galvez
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    Camilo Montoya-Galvez is the immigration reporter at CBS News. Based in Washington, he covers immigration policy and politics. Twitter: @camiloreports