On Friday, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, announced that she would not vote to support articles of impeachment drafted against President Donald Trump.
“Since the president’s call with Ukraine came to light, I have been clear that no one is above the law. I’ve also advocated for providing the American people with full and absolute transparency into the circumstances surrounding that conversation. This morning, the House Judiciary Committee reported two articles of impeachment to be voted on by the full House of Representatives,” her statement reads.
The two articles of impeachment charge Trump with obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.
Herrera Beutler said neither article was adequately proven.
“The obstruction of Congress article is the least credible of the two. Congress and the White House disagreed over Congress’s right to compel testimony from White House officials, so some White House officials exercised their right to judicial review of the congressional subpoenas. That’s how our system of checks and balances works, and it’s not at all uncommon for the White House and Congress to take their disputes to court. No one at the White House has defied a court order. The rushed timeline for this process set by House Democratic leadership is irrelevant, and the White House asking a court to settle a dispute is not an impeachable act,” she said, in the statement.
She said the abuse of power allegation relied too much on second-hand testimony, blaming that on a “rushed timeline,” pushed by House Democrats.
“House committee chairs were unwilling to press the subpoenas on witnesses who could have provided firsthand accounts of the president’s actions, and instead relied on witnesses who’d never even met the president, could only provide secondhand testimony, and offered assumptions based on what they say they heard from other White House officials and Rudy Giuliani – not the president. The one witness who could provide a firsthand account based on personal conversations with the president, Gordon Sondland, testified that the president told him there was ‘no quid pro quo’ and that he made his own presumptions on what the president wanted. Aid to Ukraine was delayed but then later provided prior to the statutory deadline. The Ukrainian president says he was not pressured, Ukraine did not announce or open an investigation, and the country received its aid. The president’s motives for his actions remain unproven. I will not vote to impeach based on hearsay testimony from secondhand sources — to do so diminishes impeachment to a mere political disagreement. So I am a ‘no’ on both counts.”