WASHINGTON – House Democrats will hold a vote Thursday to move forward with the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The question is whether or not Trump used his power and authority as President for personal political gain; specifically – requesting Ukraine investigate possible Democratic meddling in the 2016 Presidential Elections as well as former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who had business dealings in that country. Trump is accused of considering the withholding of aid for Ukraine until its president agreed to move forward with the requested investigations. The accusation is based on a memo detailing a phone conversation from July between President Trump and the President of Ukraine. Democrats in the House say the request could be a violation of the Constitution and an impeachable offense.
During a conference call with area media on Wednesday, Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23) indicated that he will be voting against the measure because he believes there is a lack of evidence and substance to move forward.
“Obviously I’m opposed to impeachment. I’m not seeing the smoking evidence that warrants an impeachable level offense, so I’m opposed to this vote that is coming down the pipeline,” Reed said. “I guess the good news about this vote is that it will put members of Congress on the record as to whether or not they will support impeachment and that’s a good thing. Members of Congress should be held accountable for the actions of this Democratic majority and I think the best thing we’ll see out of Thursday’s vote is where members stand on the issue of impeachment.”
The purpose of Thursday’s vote is not whether or not to impeach the President. Rather, it is to lay out the process for how a formal, public inquiry will play out on the floor of the House before any actual vote on impeachment takes place. Democrats say the process will include providing all evidence and information to all members of congress and the public, as well as giving Republican lawmakers in the House an opportunity to discuss and comment on any evidence and testimony as it is presented.
But Congressman Reed said on Wednesday that he has already seen enough evidence to determine that there was no impeachable offense by the president and as a result, he will not support a vote on the inquiry process.
“I have seen the evidence upon which the Democrats have based their impeachment inquiry hearing on, and that is the evidence of the transcript of the call. They’ve all said that the basis of their impeachment inquiry to date has been this Ukraine call and the transcript is well known. It has been out there and subject to review. So we have seen the evidence that they’re using to bring impeachment charges against the president. I do view this vote coming up this week as an impeachment vote – do you approve impeachment or do you disapprove of impeachment,” Reed said.