With House Democrats unveiling two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Tuesday (Dec. 10), Arkansas’ four GOP Congressmen remain unmoved in their opposition.
The two articles of impeachment accuse Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for his behavior in the controversy surrounding military aid to Ukraine and relations with the new Ukranian President, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump is accused of asking Zelensky to investigate potential corruption involving Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in Ukraine. Through a call summary released by the White House, testimony from witnesses in the House Intelligence Committee, and on-the-record comments from Trump and his administration officials, Democrats have produced evidence they claim supports their claims of abuse. Republican Congressional leaders and the president have either denied parts of the evidence presented, complained that it does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense, or avoided providing testimony that would refute some of the claims.
The high-stakes impeachment move, which is likely to lead to the historic third impeachment of a U.S. President will be further debated on Wednesday evening in the House Judiciary Committee, which is controlled by the Democrats.
Arkansas’ four Republican Congressmen have been skeptical since the beginning of the impeachment inquiry that started two months ago.
U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, who temporarily vacated his seat on the House Intelligence Committee during the impeachment inquiry, has been active on Twitter and in public comments condemning the probe.
“House Democrats have been plowing the same ground on impeachment for months and have nothing to show for it. Today’s release of articles of impeachment is a telltale sign that Speaker Pelosi is scrambling to stir up support for impeachment and galvanize their base,” Crawford said in a statement to Talk Business & Politics.
U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, contends the impeachment process has been flawed and he declared that no crime had been committed by Trump, nor has he done anything rising to an impeachable offense.
“Today’s announcement is another step by Speaker Pelosi and her Democrat colleagues in their race to undo the 2016 elections before Christmas. It has been clear from day one that this was an inquiry in search of a crime–and that any crime would do. Instead, the facts did not demonstrate any offense sufficient to justify removing a duly elected U.S. president from office. No testimony produced evidence of bribery, extortion, or a high crime or misdemeanor,” Hill said.
“This partisan inquiry was flawed from the start when House Democrats blatantly deviated from historical precedent by altering the process used to establish impeachment proceedings against both President Nixon in 1974 and President Clinton in 1998. Additionally, the results of Speaker Pelosi’s inquiry failed to meet criteria she herself established this past March for impeachment, requiring ‘something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan.’ The only bipartisan voting record that exists in the House is against the impeachment inquiry,” he added.
“If House Democrats wanted to conduct oversight of President Trump’s foreign policy, they should have held oversight hearings in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Instead, their decision to pursue a partisan and prejudged impeachment inquiry has delayed the important work of Congress and contributed to more civic division,” Hill said.
U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, said the situation was “sad” and he predicted that the move would be detrimental to Democrats’ political fortunes in 2020.
“It has been abundantly clear that since President Trump’s election in 2016, House Democrats have been hell-bent on removing him from office. Even today, after articles of impeachment were filed, one member was already predicting another effort should the Senate acquit. The articles filed today are baseless and unsurprising. They won’t go anywhere in the Senate,” Womack said. “It is sad that instead of focusing on issues that contribute to our nation, Speaker Pelosi and her lieutenants are consumed with removing a duly-elected President. I predict that they will pay a dear political price for this misguided attempt to overturn the will of the American people.”
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, complained about the “circus” in Washington, D.C. and said there were larger issues that should be addressed by Congress, despite a breakthrough earlier today on the USMCA trade deal.
“Speaker Pelosi formally introduced articles of impeachment today, which should surprise no one because House Democrats always made it clear this was their end goal. The Speaker herself said last week that impeachment has been two and a half years in the making. They’ve been a party in search of a problem, designing a scripted, one-sided process to back up their accusations, which is why I do not support articles of impeachment,” Westerman said. “In the midst of this Washington circus, President Trump continues providing economic wins for the American people. Congress would do well to be part of the solution by addressing America’s most pressing problems, like immigration and high prescription drug and health care costs.”