Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb does not see behavior that rises to the level of an impeachable offense in the current debate over President Donald Trump’s interactions with Ukraine.
Appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, Webb concedes the president’s actions may warrant some reprimand, but not removal from office.
“I do not think it’s impeachable. I think it’s similar to running a stop sign and your driver’s license should not be taken away,” Webb said. “I think once again this, we’ve set about – or the Democrats have set about – inquiring, inquiring, inquiring, trying to find a crime to reverse the elections of 2016 and so let’s get this behind us. There’s going to be a trial in the Senate. It will not reach the two-thirds number. As a matter of fact, it’ll probably be a partisan vote.”
Webb and host Roby Brock had this follow-up exchange:
Brock: By saying that you think this is the equivalent of running a stop sign, would you be okay if, say, Joe Biden were to ask a foreign entity, a foreign country for some dirt on President Trump?
Webb: Well, I would want to make sure that that occurred. I’m not sure that the proof has been there.
Brock: It was in the call transcript and there were plenty of eyewitness testimonies on this.
Webb: You know, once again, I don’t think it rises to the level of impeachment, okay, clearly that’s removal from office. We’re within a year of the election. The people will judge that. Matter of fact, polling now shows that independents are going strongly for Trump because they’re tired of the do nothing Congress, do nothing Democrats.
Despite the partisanship of impeachment, Republicans and Democrats did compromise this week on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Trump and House Democrats brokered changes to the USMCA and it is expected to be voted on before the end of the year.
Webb said this illustrates the possibility for more cooperation and less polarization.
“Let me say this, it wouldn’t be on the table had Trump not pushed to look back at NAFTA, but I want to applaud even the Congressional Democrats that we looked to see the AFL-CIO, the Chambers of Commerce, everyone has applauded this new agreement,” he said.
“I don’t know if the polarization comes from the media, which reports that we’re polarized, or if it’s really that way when we get out in America. And we see that in Congress, but I see our [state] legislature work well. I see many things in the country work well, so I think that there’s just some issues that either side cannot budge on and I respect that. There’s some issues I can’t compromise on, but I think we need to look for common ground and see how we can move forward.”
As chairman of the Arkansas GOP, Webb has presided over a decade of Republican growth that has seen his party sweep all of the statewide and federal offices as well as build supermajorities in the Arkansas Legislature.
Webb said he expects more growth at the county level in the coming years to further cement the Republican Party as the majority party in Arkansas.
“I think what’s driving it is that the national Democrat Party has become so liberal and that’s putting the local Democrats in a real difficult situation, and I don’t see that changing,” he said.
Webb also said with the 2020 Census approaching and Congressional and legislative redistricting set to occur in 2021, he expects the Arkansas GOP to oppose any changes to the reapportionment and redistricting process. There are several proposals floating to create independent commissions to alter the redrawing process.
“I think we have a good system. Arkansas is the only state that has the system that we have today where the legislature redistricts the Congressional districts; the governor, the attorney general, and the secretary of state who are elected statewide draw the legislative districts. What I see in the proposals is legislative leaders appointing individuals that will do the redistricting of their membership and I think that’s too much self-dealing. I think it’s worked in the past even when the Democrats were in charge of the process. I think it worked in the past,” Webb said.
You can watch Webb’s full interview in the video below.