GOP senator says she's too focused on ethanol to read 9-page whistleblower report


The nine-page report outlines Trump's illicit activities related to Ukraine and 2020 election interference.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) says she has yet to read a whistleblower report outlining credible allegations Trump abused his power by pressuring a foreign government to investigate a political foe, in order to help his chances in the 2020 election.

"I haven't read the full report," Ernst, one of several vulnerable senators up for reelection in 2020, told a Washington Post reporter Thursday afternoon.

The "full report" to which she is referring is a total of seven pages long, plus an additional two-page appendix. Ernst said she was unable to discuss the allegations in it.

"If you do want to talk about ethanol, I am happy to talk about ethanol because that’s where all my efforts are right now," she added.

The whistleblower report lays out Trump's actions soliciting election interference from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During a July 25 phone call, Trump asked the Ukrainian leader to open an investigation into long-debunked allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden, a possible 2020 opponent.

The mere act of soliciting anything of value from a foreign national is against the law. Further adding to the scandal, Trump abruptly withheld nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine shortly before that call, seen as an attempt to pressure the leader into doing Trump's bidding.

Ernst's lackadaisical attitude toward possible high crimes committed by the occupant of the Oval Office echoed her sentiments from earlier in the week.

On Wednesday, a memo detailing the call between Trump and the Ukrainian president was released, providing explicit evidence of Trump soliciting election assistance from a foreign leader.

"I've looked at the transcript; I don't see anything there," Ernst responded at the time.

Ernst did find time earlier this week to post a photo of a dog in front of a computer at her office, with accompanying text introducing "the newest member of our team, Chief Pawlitical Strategist Jax!"

During her 2014 campaign, Ernst aired an election ad about castrating hogs, vowing to make DC similarly "squeal." Just five years later, Ernst has turned from threatening those in power to quietly supporting the Trump agenda more than 91% of the time.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.