Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., is still unconvinced that Donald Trump has committed an impeachable offense and he’s comfortable with the president’s handling of the Iranian crisis.
Boozman, who appeared on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, also said he plans to run for re-election in 2022.
“I’m planning on it. I’m working hard at becoming chairman of the Agriculture Committee,” he said.
Boozman is the second highest ranking Republican on the committee. Current chairman GOP Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas is not running for re-election. If the Republicans hold the Senate, Boozman is the likely pick to chair that all-important committee.
Arkansas’ senior senator said that the intelligence and military leaders who briefed Congress on Thursday (Jan. 9) were in lockstep that an imminent threat warranted a strike on Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
“I can’t talk about that in the sense of specifics. I have confidence in these people. They were all in agreement there was an imminent threat,” Boozman said.
Boozman said he’s confused as to what a recent Iraqi resolution calling for the exodus of U.S. troops will really amount to.
“In regard to the Iraq vote, they were put in a very difficult situation. This is a Shia country, the Iranians are Shias. The Iranians have had great influence in that country,” he said. “On the other hand, much of the Middle East is celebrating the death of Soleimani, so they have voted and yet it’s not clear yet as to what that vote actually means. I don’t think that we ought to pull out of Iraq right now. I think we need to continue to work with them as a partner to help them stabilize. A lot of blood’s been spilled to get us in the situation that they’re in.”
On impeachment, Boozman said he expects witnesses will be called during the Senate trial, but he’s unconvinced that any of the president’s actions rise to the level of an impeachable offense. When asked about soliciting foreign help in the investigation of the Biden family, Boozman said:
“I don’t think it’s worthy of impeachment. He [the President] has an absolute ability to ask about corruption,” Boozman said.
When asked if it would be okay for Joe Biden or Democrats to seek help from China or Russia to investigate President Trump or the Trump family, Boozman said that’s basically what we saw in the House Democrats’ impeachment proceedings. He’s not a fan of “weaponizing” impeachment.
“These things get pretty murky,” he said.
Boozman expects the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to clear the Senate in the next couple of weeks. Senate rules are different from House rules in that the agreement will have to filter through a number of Senate committees before it receives a floor vote.
“If we can get this done and wrap up Phase 1 of the China deal, this could add a percent to GDP,” Boozman said. “Once it’s done, it puts more pressure on China to do a larger agreement and others too.”
Boozman was interviewed for this story on Wednesday, Jan. 8, and Thursday, Jan. 9. You can watch a taped interview of a portion of his comments below.