Trump impeached, Oregon lawmakers react

Politics

House of Representatives impeached President Trump, December 18, 2019

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Mich. on Dec. 18, 2019.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After Donald Trump became only the third President of the United States to be impeached, Oregon’s congressional delegation issued statements.

Below are their statements in full, in alphabetical order, beginning with the Senators followed by the House members.

Sen. Jeff Merkley

“Our founders created the process of impeachment because they were deeply concerned about two significant dangers: first, foreign influence that might corrupt American democracy; and second, abuse of power by a president tempted to use his powers to become more like a king.

“For these two reasons, the founders placed in the hands of Congress the means to act as a check on a corrupt president: Impeachment in the House, followed by a trial in the Senate. Today, the House fulfilled its constitutional responsibility.

“The House has laid out a clear set of facts that should be alarming to anyone who cares about the integrity of our elections or the rule of law. The House presented a compelling case that the president solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election, that he conditioned official actions on this interference, and that he used the power of the office to advance his own interest instead of the public interest. By their vote today, they have concluded that this abuse of power and the president’s obstruction of the investigation are significant enough to trigger a Senate trial on whether President Trump should remain in office.

“Now, the process moves to the Senate, and this is a moment in which every Senator must put country above party. The guiding principle must be complete impartiality in service of the Constitution we swore to uphold. Every Senator should search their own heart, and ask themselves what they would do if the president were of the opposite party. We owe the nation facts, fairness, and integrity—not a cover-up.

“I am profoundly disturbed that the Majority Leader has already said that rather than conduct a fair trial, he is working alongside the White House to enact a party-wide cover-up. It is stunning that he is refusing to call witnesses because they would have evidence about the president’s misconduct.

“At the start of the trial, all Senators will swear an oath to ‘do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.’ The oath is not to their party, and not to their president. We are a nation of laws, not a cult of personality. If the Majority Leader blocks the conduct of a fair trial intended by the founders to determine whether the president has abused his power, and whether that abuse merits expulsion from office, then the Majority Leader will have inflicted a wound to our democracy that will have damaging consequences for decades to come. I hope that, over the coming holiday, all Senators will ponder their grave responsibility to rise to the occasion, and to bring our nation the facts, fairness, and integrity America deserves.”

Sen. Ron Wyden

“A senator has no weightier responsibility than to judge a president impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. As a juror in impeachment proceedings, I intend to look at all of the evidence and vote for a just outcome, not a political one,” Wyden said.

“A just outcome is only possible if the trial itself is just – that means the Senate must have access to all of the facts. Our chamber must be able to call all necessary witnesses and subpoena all necessary documents to get the fullest possible picture of the events for which Donald Trump has been impeached. In my view, no member can uphold their oath of office without calling for a full airing of the facts at hand. I urge all of my colleagues to think carefully about how history would judge a sham process designed by the person standing trial.”

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici

“Donald Trump has abused his office, obstructed justice and Congress, jeopardized national security, and betrayed the American people. The witnesses at the House Intelligence and Judiciary committee hearings, as well as the President’s own words, have made these facts clear. He must be held accountable.

“The Founding Fathers included the impeachment process in the Constitution to uphold our values and maintain the checks and balances that are essential to democracy. They knew way back in 1787 that someone in the office of President could abuse the power of the office. And that is what Donald Trump has done – abused the power of his office by inviting a foreign government to interfere in a U.S. election. He did this not to help the United States, but to benefit himself. That’s wrong, and it is an impeachable offense. In our country, no one is above the law. That includes the President of the United States.

“As a separate and equal branch of government, Congress has been working to uncover the President’s wrongdoings — and at every turn the President has brazenly obstructed our inquiry, even defying subpoenas.

“I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, and I take my obligation very seriously. I did that today by voting for the two articles of impeachment, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to hold this President accountable for his misdeeds and do what is best for Oregonians and the American people.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer

“For the first time in his privileged life, Donald trump will finally be held accountable for his reckless personal behavior and business practices. By impeaching Donald Trump today, we are taking steps toward accountability. The case is strong, clear, and convincing.”

Rep. Peter DeFazio

“Today is a dark day for both our country and our representative democracy.

“I fully support the articles of impeachment drafted by the House Judiciary Committee and will be voting in favor of them today.

“Impeachment is the most serious responsibility granted to Congress by our Constitution. This vote is not something I take lightly, but the case is clear-cut: President Trump has violated his oath of office and betrayed the Constitution and the American people.

“He has admitted to soliciting assistance from a foreign leader to interfere with our elections and to aid his political campaign. His own chief of staff has admitted that he withheld congressionally-approved taxpayer dollars to blackmail the Ukrainian president and leverage aid to his own campaign. These are impeachable offenses.

“Furthermore, the Judiciary Committee’s extraordinary investigation uncovered evidence that the president committed numerous federal crimes, including bribery and wire fraud.

“Through these actions, the president has shown himself to be a threat to both our national security and the very foundation of our democracy.

“While I will be voting in support of the articles of impeachment today, it is important to note that Congress’s oversight does not stop here. I will push for further scrutiny to continue to hold this administration accountable for its offenses, including directing the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to continue its investigations into the president’s potential violations of the emoluments clauses of the Constitution and to enforce our constitutional subpoenas in the courts.”

Rep. Kurt Schrader

“After reading the transcript of President Trump’s July 25th conversation with the Ukrainian President where he asks for a political favor that would lead to foreign influence in our election and listening to career and political appointees of the President himself express concern that a President of the United States would act in such a manner, I voted in favor of impeachment. These actions are illegal and pose serious risk to our democratic form of government.”

Rep. Greg Walden

“President Donald Trump is unique in the history of the American presidency. No one has led as he has. His success and his style have frustrated his opponents.

“Remember back to the fall of 2016 when pundits and politicians on the left lectured Americans about the historical need to accept the outcome of the election? Then Hillary Clinton lost. Some began undermining and attacking the President before he had even taken office. Others called for his impeachment.

“Meanwhile, we now know–as a result of the Horowitz investigation–that some in the FBI engaged in nefarious actions to investigate the Trump campaign. They lied to and misled the FISA court in an incredible abuse of power by a government agency. Civil libertarians are rightly outraged by what occurred. Laws designed to protect America from foreign terrorists were misused to spy on an American presidential campaign.

“The false narrative of the Trump campaign colluding with the Russians dominated the first two years of the Trump presidency. I supported the appointment of Mr. Mueller and repeatedly stood up for the independence of his investigation. I wanted the facts.

“The Mueller investigation spent years and millions of taxpayer dollars and came up empty. That report produced nothing impeachable, or the articles of impeachment would include the findings of that report.

“For me, overturning the outcome of an election demands two things: A bipartisan and fair process to determine wrong doing, and a criminal offense worthy of overturning the outcome of the voters’ will. Neither threshold has been met in this case.

“With a clear conscience, I will vote against both articles of impeachment.

“Read the articles of impeachment. “Abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress,” are the charges. Neither of these are criminal violations. This isn’t perjury or burglary.

“Every administration—Democratic and Republican- pushes back against Congress’ request for witnesses and information. The Constitution enshrines this separate-branch conflict. Congress doesn’t like being told no. At times we’ve sued over it. It’s the tension our founders designed into the competing branches of government. Work it out, or go to the courts. But in this case, they truncated the timeline to exclude a judicial review. They announced the outcome before the investigation was completed.

“I voted to hold President Obama’s Attorney General in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the “fast and furious” fiasco. Congress sued and won this case. But Republicans never seriously thought about impeaching the President.

“I threatened to subpoena President Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions to his face in the East Room of the White House during our investigation of the opioid crisis. We eventually worked it out and got to review the data we sought. Not once did I think about impeaching the President over this matter.

“The anti-Trump crowd has weaponized impeachment and converted it into a partisan tool, something one of America’s founding fathers–Alexander Hamilton–warned against. The American people elected President Trump to shake things up in Washington, D.C. And that’s precisely what he’s done.

“Lower taxes and less oppressive regulations would not have happened under a Clinton Administration. Hillary Clinton would not have stood up to China as President Trump has. She would not have demanded and gotten a new and better trade deal with our friends to the north and south. As for the Russians, she’s the one who led the “reset” with Russia that offended our European allies and played into Putin’s hand.

“We’ve never had a better economy or lower unemployment in the modern era. We’re the envy of the world. America is standing up to our competitors and enemies. We’re getting new and better trade agreements and bringing more jobs back to America.

“We’ve never had a President lean in more to get lower drug prices or make our allies keep their promises to help pay for their national security.

“President Trump is doing exactly what he promised, and that includes violating the political norms of the Washington, D.C. swamp. And for that, the left wants to send him packing.

“If facts matter, we should not impeach this president, but instead get back to work solving the problems facing American families.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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