Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) received an all-expense paid trip to Kiev, Ukraine last year immediately after key events in the Trump-Ukraine impeachment timeline, according to a news release, first provided to the Signal, by his Democratic challenger.
Hank Gilbert, the candidate challenging Gohmert in 2020, is pressuring the right-wing lawmaker to explain his presence in the country.
“It seems very strange to me that Congressman Gohmert would spend, assuming travel time, at least three days in Ukraine a couple weeks after Pete Sessions wrote the State Department asking for Marie Yavanovitch to be dismissed, and days after two Soviet-born business associates of Rudy Guiliani were donating $325,000 to a Trump-connected super PAC,” Gilbert said in the statement.
Gohmert’s trip was organized by The Ukranian Prayer Breakfast Organizing Committee, per the report. Last year, The Young Turks reported that Gohmert and three other conservative lawmakers traveled to Ukraine to meet met “with proponents of anti-gay policies, or [who] participated in events at least implicitly counter to gay rights, in Ukraine and other European nations that Russia would like to see remain out of the E.U.”
The same report shows Gohmert developed a relationship with a Ukrainian Member of Parliament Pavel Unguryan, an anti-LGTBQ evangelical lawmaker. Unguryan called Gohmert “a strong advocate of freedoms of religion and speech [and] conservative values.”
“The prayer breakfast appears to have been a one day event,” Gilbert said of Gohmert’s trip. “Where was he the rest of the time? And, even if that was his only event, who did he have contact with at the breakfast and during the rest of his time in Ukraine?”
Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com