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Local members of Congress take party line on impeachment issue

Published September 26. 2019 12:22PM

When it comes to the question of an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s actions, our local members of Congress come down on either side of the issue in predictable party ways.

Democrats Susan Wild, who represents Lehigh, Northampton and part of Monroe counties, and Matt Cartwright, who represents the other part of Monroe, are now on board favoring the inquiry, while Republican Dan Meuser, who represents Carbon and Schuylkill counties, is vehemently opposed.

The central question is whether Trump stepped over the line in a July 25 phone conversation with the newly elected president of Ukraine and asked him to assist in a corruption investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son, Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian company.

First, let’s clear up some confusion on what impeachment is and is not. Two of our presidents have been impeached, but neither was forced to leave office, because neither was convicted.

“Impeachment” is similar to a charge and indictment against a defendant — in this case the president of the United States. The U.S. Constitution lays out the procedure that must be followed.

The charge must be brought in the House of Representatives. If a majority of House members concludes that there is justification to sustain the indictment, the spotlight shifts to the Senate for a trial, where two-thirds of the 100-member body must vote to convict before a president can be kicked out of office.

In the two cases where impeachment actions were taken — against Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 — the House sustained the charges, but the Senate did not convict.

In a third impeachment inquiry, President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 after the House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of impeachment but before the full House acted on the charges.

The Constitution provides that the president “shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” What these “other high crimes and misdemeanors” might involve has been left to the judiciary to interpret.

As for our local representatives, Wild, who had been on the fence about impeachment until Ukraine issue became the tipping point, said the use of public office to target political opponents and invite foreign interference in our elections is “unequivocally unacceptable.”

She also criticized Trump’s “repeated obstruction and stonewalling of Congress’ constitutional oversight responsibilities.”

Wild acknowledged that hers is a swing district and that her decision will not be popular among Trump supporters.

“Should we have to proceed down this route, it is the only decision that would be consistent with the oath I took to support and defend the Constitution,” she said.

Cartwright left some wiggle room by saying that members of Congress need to “get to the bottom of these serious allegations through comprehensive impeachment proceedings and document production,” because, he added, “at some point, it becomes necessary to announce certain conduct by an American president as unacceptable.”

As an ardent Trump supporter, Meuser sees the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as an unlawful way to remove the president from office. He accused House leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats of focusing on creating a “far-fetched scandal related to a phone call with a foreign government leader.”

Meuser said the Democrats are rushing to judgment without having all of the relevant facts.

“This farce, which chooses to push a presumption of guilt where evidence is nonexistent, is nothing short of a constitutional embarrassment for our country.”

One thing you can be sure of is that the road down the impeachment mountain will be a bumpy one for members of both parties. Trump supporters will surround the wagons to protect the president, while his opponents will try to make a case for ending his presidency and short circuit his bid for another four years.

Many Democratic House members know that this will be a perilous journey that could cost them their jobs, especially in swing districts, but officeholders such as Wild say that acting on behalf of the country trumps their remaining in office.

As for the president, he has branded the call for the inquiry as another Democratic witch hunt.

By Bruce Frassinelli | tneditor@tnonline.com

Comments
Thanks for this fair article Bruce. Far fetched scandal phone call Mr. Meuser. And a farce.
Pretty obvious problems in this White House. I guess using classification protocols to hide corruption is ok with him. Per the Whistle blower: White House Officials acted to "lock down" the record of Trump call. Thank God for whistle blowers.
A little fairer than normal but his description “assist in an investigation” is an inaccurate characterization. Investigation suggests an official justice dept action but this was not that...this was political.
Watch as Joe Biden and Hunter destroy themselves. By this standard President Obama and Crooked Hillary will be in jail. They will all wish they were lantern flys by the time this is over. Thank you Schiff, Schumer, Pelosi, Nadler...
Sic ‘em President Trump.
You don't care about Biden? How about the way he exercised his "White Privilege" by setting up his drug abusing know nothing of energy or Ukraine son in a $50K per month position with a Ukrainian firm, all while Biden was VP of the US.
I care, and Trump cares, and so any Trump inquiry has to do with National Interest, not personal interest. By the way, do you care that Shifty Schiff started that inquiry off in a parody of words rather than straight forward reading of what actually was written? Why would Schiff do that if Schiff had a solid case to present? Do you approve of Biden? Do you approve of Schiff's acting out in parody? Is thia the new and transformed America? Are you nuts?
"I care, and Trump cares, and so any Trump inquiry has to do with National Interest, not personal interest."

If you believe that than you are truly truly lost.....
You crack me up Joe...
You care about Trump (only accused), and not of Biden (admitted himself).
You are of double standards. No equal justice among you libs?
You're a flip fopping double standard Trump hating person.
Only hate could explain why you would fall so low.
I don’t care about Hillary or Biden the way you care about trump. I am saying that I don’t defend them...if it’s appropriate prosecute then do it. We have a justice department for that though and it is supposed to be independent of political pressure.

You defend trump no matter what. I say nobody is above the law, Clinton Biden trump, nobody. Prosecute them all
My focus is to drain the swamp, Trump happens to be the only one able to do that. I told you before, I was leaning toward Ben Carson, but he wouldn't have been able to stand up to the evil Demoncrats.
Maybe it is ok that there is disagreement about the consequences of trump’s actions (we know of this far) but I’m very disappointed that anyone is defending the call as being ok. It’s not ok and every American needs to send that message, even if they think it shouldn’t necessarily lead to removal from office.
What's not OK, is the Chair of the Judiciary Committee falsifying the statement for all the world to see.
But before we go there, how about the damage already done by releasing the transcript under the demands of the radical Democrats. What world leader will ever have a conversation with a US president again. You folks are out of control through your hatred. How's it feel to carry all that hate.
Well if it damages us to release it then complain to the guy who released it, trump. I guess the poor little baby got pressured by AOC and isn’t strong enough to stand up to her
Joe there are so many problems with this Administration not just causing a disruption in America, but affecting how other countries see us and ability to trust us. We will be hearing a lot more this, stay tuned and fasten your seat belts.
Trump is a mess and clearly out of control. The day after Mueller testified trump, learning nothing, made this call. It’s time to remind him he lives in the People’s House and he is not above our laws.
CG,
What are the charges? Impeachment over what? It's time you realize the people voted him in, and the only way he'll loose the 2020, is if the scum Democrats take him out. They couldn't win an election, here's the proof of that. This is getting ridiculous. Russia 2.0 a big fat nothing!
So you like to have an American where our leaders use their influence to pressure foreign leaders to investigate their rivals?!? That’s effed up
Get informed:
Rush Limbaugh
Sean Hannity
Dan Bongino
Tucker Carlson
Laura Ingraham
Glenn Beck
Buck Sexton
Michael Savage
Mark Levin
Gregg Jarrett
Judge Jeanine Pirro
Ben Shapiro
Toni Lahren
Victor Davis Hanson
Brent Bozzell
George Will
Bill O’Reilly
Ann Coulter
Candice Owens
YouTube...Trump Rallies & speeches
IHeartRadio...podcasts

I challenge everyone to seek intellectual honesty. Prove your position with knowledge rather than ignorance. If you refuse to listen to sources, what does that say about you? Why are you afraid to listen, read, or watch something that will make you have a better understanding? Are you afraid of the truth? Make yourself a better person by taking the time to understand all sides of an issue.

From even before he entered the Presidency, as a genuinely legitimate winner, President Trump has put up with resistance to every way he sought to make America great...without a single exception. Now, as he has some pushback he gets attacked by fake accusations. Rest assured that Americans will remember the deceit and treason brought on by the TDS media and crazies that wish to bring Trump down irregardless of what damage is caused to America overall. You liberals pulled the tail of the wrong tiger. The “people” in the people’s house voted Trump into office. You will soon see what the people think about another hoax investigation. Keep it up.
All of this impeach, impeach, impeach baloney is embarrassing. Nadler, Pelosi, and Sanders, at the time of the Clinton Sex Scandal spoke vehemently against impeachment, and there was blatant obvious scandal. The man took advantage of an intern in the oval office, and the dolts of your party, even woman, turned a blind eye. They said impeachment wasn't the best way. Boy have they changed their tune. Now tell me again, what are the charges and where is the proof?
It’s an inquiry, there will be more investigated. But honestly, get your head out of your ass, it’s not ok for our president to ask a foreign power to investigate his political rivals.
Thank you Schiff, Nadler, Pelosi, Schumer, AOC, & the rest of you TDS people. You just pulled on President Trump’s tail. Your continued attempts to destroy Trump have failed. Heads of State should be allowed to conduct conversations in private. Here we have another attempt to reverse an election because you don’t like the results. Fake news and TDS people like you Joe will fail again as the truth surfaces. The great thing about liberalism is that it always fails as the truth about it is found out. How did the collusion thing work out for you? President Trump is better & smarter than all of you failures put together. It is you Joe, with your head so far up your a** you can see Russia...again. Any collusion up there? America is great.
So it’s ok to use your power to influence a foreign government to go after political rivals in your book. You are lost.

It’s not ok
Come on Joe, if you want to see what influencing foreign elections look like, research Hillary and her donors list to the Clinton Foundation in the period between 1999 and 2014. You will learn that Ukrainian sponsors took first place. Look up Doug Schoen, and his ability to bring Hillary and Victor Pinchuk together. She was secretary of state at that time. Pinchuk just so loved Hillary, after all, she's the smartest woman in America (according to the DNC). Research the Yalta European Strategy (YES) and the fundraising for that. For them Hillary was a "Megstar".
Dig deeper and see the ties of these people together... Clinton, Nuland, Lagarde and the IMF. They knew much, and also did much, but for who?
You'll find that Joe Biden's name appears too. With son Hunter, Joe was able to get Burisma off the hook for lost aid funding. Question is, did Hunter also get Kolomoisky off the visa ban list?
Interesting that any Criminal investigations by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were squelched by top level superiors.
Fast forward to present, were this current POTUS appears to be taking on even the US Intel. Agencies, and you may begin to see why there is so much hatred toward the man named Donald J Trump. But "Joe"... why do you hate him so much, that's the mystery.
Get your head out of your hinder and look this stuff up Joe.
I DON"T CARE ABOUT HILLARY OR BIDEN! GOOD RIDDANCE TO BOTH. So stop deflecting

This is about trump. I don't believe his supporters voting him in because they thought he was as crooked as Hillary so stop it. Look at trump's behavior and tell me you think this is ok and provide reasoning that is not "well Hillary did it too"
Come on Joe. You display tremendous gaps in knowledge and understanding. In politics and law, historical precedent forms the basis for evaluating fair and equitable treatment. It is for this reason, and you should be aware of it, Joe, that I refer to previous situations. You habitually ignore what you don’t want to hear and you make flimsy excuses to justify your position. Frankly, I never met someone so argumentative, yet, so dismissive of evidence that would allay your concerns. I am led to believe that you just like to bicker and irritate people, and, that you care little about finding out the truth...whether it be good or bad. Your extreme hatred of President Trump is unbending and debilitating to you. You are not even aware of your bias. Whether you truly ignore other situations willfully or not does not matter. President Trump will beat these fake charges that you readily support, and, he will win re-election because you still do not understand why he won. Thousands upon thousands of people attend Trump Rallies anywhere in America because they do understand. These people are every bit as smart as you Joe. Keep it up. You just pulled the tail of a tiger.
Yes, tremendous gaps in knowledge.

What are the precedents related to a president asking a foreign government to investigate someone he is running against and having his personal lawyer be the one to lead the investigation?
Trump supporter: "Hillary did this and Hillary did that! She should be in jail! Biden did this and Biden did that...he should be in jail! .....what trump did was ok because Hillary and Biden did it too"
Trump didn't and gets the inquiry... and that's OK.
They did do it, and nothing said. No questions asked, and so Donald J Trump started the ball rolling and you dolts want to impeach him for it. Again, Trumps actions were for the country, Hillary, Kerry, and Plugs Biden were for self. Big difference Joe.
Mr. Meyers,
By posting all that... You just had your name added to a list. Just saying, you do not want to anger the Democrat swamp, and as Dirty Schumer says, coming against the swamp is dangerous.
"Joe"
So you come here pretending to be expert at this, that, and everything in between...
The term "Get your head out of your A _ _...." Is that a term you teach in your Sunday School Lesson?
Just curious who the students are... that's all.
Could you just consider the POTUS inquiring about the possible corruption that was taking place among Kerry, Biden, Clinton, as an inquiry of National interest, and not personal interest. It's already been said that the Democrats don't stand a chance of winning in 2020, so, why would Trump personally give a hoot about sleepy Joe being a viable challenger? Come on Joe!
Get you head out of you ass Levite. Since when is it the president's responsibility to lead investigations? Even if it were don't you think there would be a conflict of interest there? If Katherine Kane had been trying to lead an investigation against her republican rival (whom she was 12 points behind in the polls) don't you think that would be unethical?

If you can't understand this very basic concept than you are lost. You see me as an expert and I appreciate that but really this is just common sense.
Attention: Dean Browning will challenge the wild and crazy Susan Wild. Browning needs support. Bob Casey has done nothing in life but ride daddy's coat tails. He's a career politician who even as that... has done nothing. Wake up people, the evil one is on the rise, and he appears to be using people, against people. Remember, sin is no respector of man, and certainly not of political party. Let's stop the "party" war, and unify for factual truths.
God Bless
Well like the old saying goes "If you give someone enough rope they will hang themselves"
Did you hear that Mr. of the highest office protecting our laws
Barrrrr.
Man Oh Man how stupid, dumb, sleepy Joe Biden "bragged" about getting that Ukrainian Prosecutor that would eventually investigate his kid Hunter...

"I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well ... He got fired."

Sleepy Joe put the squeeze on, with taxpayer money, to save that "white privileged" son of his, and he's not investigated? Oh yeah, that's right, he's a demoncrat

Prosecutor that the whole world was pressuring Ukraine to fire due to not doing his job. Hunter Biden was never under investigation.
Mike that’s because it doesn’t fit the narrative. I watch Bill Maher and this morning on twitter, Maher was headlined because he admitted it Don Jr did what Hunter Biden did, this would be front page news splashed all over all media sources, even Maher can see this for what it is, partisan time wasting at our expense.

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