Colorado Rep. Buck to Dems: Vote for impeachment and say goodbye to your majority status

The Constitution demands a 'yes' vote, Buck's Democratic colleague Joe Neguse argues in heated Judiciary Committee debate

NYTIMPEACH : House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) questions Intelligence Committee Minority Counsel Stephen Castor and Intelligence Committee Majority Counsel Daniel Goldman during the House impeachment inquiry hearings, Monday Dec. 9, 2019. POOL Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) questions Intelligence Committee Minority Counsel Stephen Castor and Intelligence Committee Majority Counsel Daniel Goldman during the House impeachment inquiry hearings, Monday Dec. 9, 2019. POOL Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times)

WASHINGTON — A Colorado Democrat on Wednesday night delivered a forceful plea for the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump, while his Republican colleague helped lead the president’s defense. 

Rep. Joe Neguse, a freshman Democrat, spoke of his immigrant parents, refugees from Eritrea. “They wanted their children to grow up in a place that is free, a country where leaders respect the rule of law and where they don’t use the power of government to target political opponents — a country with fair elections where everyone has the right to vote,” he said. 

Neguse, the lone Colorado Democrat on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, spoke Wednesday as the committee heard lawmakers’ opening statements ahead of a likely vote Thursday on two articles charging Trump with abusing his power and obstructing Congress. 

Neguse accused Trump of soliciting the interference of a foreign government in the 2020 U.S. presidential election for his own political advantage. “Every American deserves to know that their president will not endanger our national security, that he or she won’t seek to use their power to undermine our free and fair elections and that they won’t tap a foreign government to help tip the scales in their favor,” he said. 

He intends to vote for both articles, Neguse said. “It is what the Constitution requires of us and it is what my conscience demands and I hope and I pray that my colleagues will do the same.” 

In the debate that went late into Wednesday night, lawmakers on both sides assailed their Judiciary colleagues across the aisle, accusing them of overt partisanship. 

Democrats implored Republicans to put politics aside and break ranks with the GOP to rebuke Trump; Republicans uniformly defended the president and accused the majority of fabricating a case in an attempt to oust an executive whose policies they have loathed since he assumed the White House. 

GOP: impeachment helps Trump in 2020

Republicans warned Democrats that the impeachment proceedings would help Trump keep the White House in the 2020 election and could help the GOP reclaim the House majority. 

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) told his colleagues to “go ahead” and vote for impeachment. “Say goodbye to your majority status and please join us in January 2021 when President Trump is inaugurated again.” 

“This is the quickest, thinnest, weakest, most partisan impeachment in all of American presidential history,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.). “We’ll see you on the field in 2020.” 

Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary panel, accused Democrats of pursuing a three-year vendetta against Trump. 

“This is not new. We’ve been trying this for almost three years,” Collins said of the efforts to impeach Trump. “The only thing that has changed is the opportunity from last November when you became the majority,” he told Democrats. 

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) prodded Democrats to change course, calling the impeachment proceedings “scary stuff.” 

Democrats, he said, “have never accepted the will of the American people,” Jordan said. “I hope you guys will reconsider and stop it while you can.” 

‘One heck of an emergency’ 

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), who was a staffer to the Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon in 1974, pointed to Republican lawmakers who supported impeachment following the Watergate scandal. 

One of them was Rep. Lawrence J. Hogan Sr. —  a Maryland Republican and the current governor’s father. “Unless Richard Nixon is removed from office and the disease of Watergate, which has sapped the vitality of our government, is purged from the body politic, government and politics will continue to be clouded by mistrust and suspicion,” Hogan said at the time, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Virginia Rep. Manley Caldwell Butler was another Republican who turned against the majority of his party to support Nixon’s impeachment, even though his own mother had warned him that a vote against the Republican president would spell political doom. 

“Dear Mother, you are probably right. However, I feel that my loyalty to the Republican Party does not relieve me of the obligation which I have,” the congressman told her, according to The New York Times. He believed Nixon had lied and obstructed justice.

As the committee and the full House move toward what’s almost certain to be a highly partisan vote, Lofgren asked Wednesday, “Where are the Caldwell Butlers and Larry Hogans of today in the Republican Party?” 

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  1. “Where are the Caldwell Butlers and Larry Hogans of today in the Republican Party?”

    As best I can tell based on current comments from members of Congress, the Butlers and Hogans have been sidelined, either by calculation of their chances in a Republican primary and resignation (Rep. Dent), by objection to the tone of Trump (Rep. Costello), by revulsion and resignation from the Republican party (Rep. Amash), or by acquiescence to the sentiments of the majority of their caucus (the Hastert rule metastasizes).

  2. Buck looks awfully uncomfortable today to be counted amongst the likes of Gohmert, Jordan, Gaetz and Collins instead of Principled Republicans like Butler and Hogan. I don’t blame him.

    Being on the wrong side of history in real time can’t feel good.

    My grandfather would have called him a “chickenhawk”.

    That seems about right.

  3. This farce has consumed too many hours, effort, money, time away from needed legislation, and has exposed the Democratic Party, as believing and using a KANGAROO COURT.
    1. All the witnesses testified to second on more, hearsay gossip, and belief in STATUS QUO. When dealing in corruption in other countries, corruption is acceptable, and will continue.
    2. Chairman of all Democratic Committees, set the rules to hear gossip, heresy testimony, and would not accept debate, or testimony from people who knew the truth.
    3. Listening and watching the hearings, I did not hear, see, or believe any of the statements as being real evidence, and it was evident by actions, those witnesses themselves did not believe what they were saying. Most admitted they were not witnesses, did not talk to President, or to officials who was involved.
    4. Main Stream Media had way too much to say, during the past 3 to 6 years, and know what they wrote, what they quoted, all had different actions, meaning, or requirements than the talking heads stated.
    6. President Trump was acting as President of USA, only REPUBLIC on this planet should, and Lucky us, since Republicans and Democrats were locked up, 180 degrees apart, in DISSENSION, AND TOO PARTISAN. Neither was supporting President Donald Trump in 2017, when he was inaugurated. Both parties talked IMPEACHMENT, before he took office. Neither party knew him, and did not make attempt to learn who he was. I bought his books, and studied him, and his family, and waited over 40 years to vote for him in 2016. I have not been disappointed.
    And I say this at 90 years of age, worked all my life , public jobs since age 13, and 26 years of that was in Military (1950 to 1976) in Korean conflict, Cold WAR, Vietnam conflict. Many special projects and assignments.

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