Utah House Reps. Vote Along Party Lines In Impeachment Probe
Utah’s three Republican congressmen voted against a resolution formalizing an impeachment probe into President Donald Trump Thursday. Democrat Ben McAdams supported the inquiry.
The Democratic-led House voted 232-196 to lay out the process for considering articles of impeachment and set rules for public hearings.
McAdams, who sided with most of his fellow Democrats in supporting the resolution, said in a statement that his vote was in favor of opening up the process. He said he will not make up his mind on impeaching the president until all the evidence is presented.
“Utahns deserve an opportunity to judge the facts for themselves rather than taking the Republican or Democratic Party’s spin,” McAdams said. In order to ensure a transparent process, “facts, witness testimony and documents must be brought forward to be considered objectively by all members of the House and by the American people.”
Utah’s GOP representatives criticized the processes outlined in the inquiry as “flawed” and say the rules put too much power in the hands of Democratic committee chairmen.
“Only through a bipartisan process, in which both sides are given the opportunity to investigate, can we reach a conclusion that will be broadly accepted and factually sustained,” said Rep. Chris Stewart. “This resolution fails to meet this standard and doesn’t follow the precedent of past impeachment investigations.”
As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Stewart has been able to participate in closed-door meetings with several witnesses in the probe and had previously called for impeachment proceedings to be made public.
In an op-ed published in the Deseret News earlier this week, Stewart said that after sitting through hours of testimony in the closed-door impeachment proceedings, he is “unconvinced that there is evidence of a crime, much less a high crime, as the Constitution prescribes for an impeachable offense.”
Rep. John Curtis said the formalized impeachment process does not follow previous impeachment precedent.
“It seems to me that a combination of the President’s style and a predetermined goal to remove him from office, set this impeachment in motion on the day after the election,” Curtis wrote in a statement. “I will support a process that leads to more transparency, without the influence of politics, but today’s vote does the opposite.”
In a statement, Rep. Rob Bishop said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., should be focused on other issues such as lowering drug prices or solving a $12 billion maintenance backlog in the country’s national parks.