Tennessee lawmakers react to impeachment inquiry announcement

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WATE) – Tennessee lawmakers with the U.S. House of Representatives are releasing statements in reaction to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Tuesday announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Speaker Pelosi made the announcement following pressure from Democrats to make the inquiry, which focuses partly on whether Trump abused his presidential powers and sought help from a foreign government to undermine Democratic foe Joe Biden and help his own reelection.

Representative Tim Burchett said in his released statement Tuesday that he did not support the impeachment inquiry:

“I do not support the Democrats’ efforts to impeach President Trump and undermine his presidency. I am not surprised with Speaker Pelosi’s decision to give-in to ‘the Squad’ and the far left. No matter what Speaker Pelosi and ‘the Squad’ say, there are no grounds for impeachment, and all the uproar about the President’s call with Ukrainian President Zelensky is both premature and hypocritical. President Trump has already said he would voluntarily release the transcript of his call. Worse, the Democrats were silent when Vice President Biden and President Obama did exactly the same thing they’re accusing President Trump of. Speaker Pelosi is letting the tail wag the dog. Imagine what Congress could accomplish if Democrats put this kind of effort into passing a budget or securing our border.”

Rep. Tim Burchett

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann said Tuesday the American people do not deserve attacks on the President:

“Democrats have been investigating for months – frankly since President Trump was elected – and they have come up dry. Today’s announcement is more of the same, the beginning of another baseless investigation from a so-called source that admittingly does not have firsthand knowledge of the exchange in question. The President made the correct decision to release the transcript of his call tomorrow, giving the American people the transparency they deserve. What the American people do not deserve are Democrats’ continued relentless attacks on our President. When the Mueller report didn’t placate their far-left base, their narrative quickly turned and here we are today. It is sad, it is not good governance, and it is dividing our country.”

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann

Representative Phil Roe in his released statement Tuesday called the impeachment inquiry calculated and political:

“I’m glad the president is releasing a transcript of his call with the Ukrainian president so the American people can have full transparency about the president’s conversations. Half of the Democratic caucus believed impeachment was warranted after Robert Mueller declared he found no evidence of collusion. Now the other half appears headed towards impeaching the President before seeing evidence of wrongdoing and based on a thinly-reported, third-hand account. From the moment Democrats took the House majority, they have been foaming at the mouth to begin impeachment proceedings against the president. Democratic leadership wants the public to believe they are reluctant to begin an impeachment inquiry, but the truth is this is 100 percent calculated and political.”

Rep. Phil Roe

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper contended that Trump’s continuing misconduct requires that Congress uphold the U.S. Constitution and laws.

Congressman Steve Cohen said he commended Speaker Pelosi for opening the formal impeachment inquiry:

“Today is a historic day for our nation. The President has breached his oath, violated the law and risked our national security. This week we learned that the President has abused his power and broken the law by pressuring a foreign government to investigate a political opponent. Further, he has moved to block the whistleblower report of that action being forwarded to Congress. These are but the latest in the long list of abuses of power by this President. As Members of Congress, we took an oath to defend the Constitution and protect our country. That includes the Congressional responsibility of oversight of the Executive which includes impeachment. We will thoroughly investigate the President’s conduct and pursue the facts. We are a nation of laws and no one is above the law.”

Congressman Steve Cohen

Congressman Scott Desjarlais released a statement also condemning the impeachment inquiry and called for Congress to reject it:

“Before and after last year’s midterm elections, a few of us predicted Democrat leadership would fall prey to their most strident members and move to impeach President Trump. Sadly, having accomplished nothing but fruitless investigations in this Congress, Speaker Pelosi has allowed this radical element to dictate another partisan investigation. An overwhelming majority of the American public rejects impeachment. However, some individuals, who still cannot accept that their candidate lost the 2016 presidential election, are pursuing a purely political agenda. Congress must reject it.”

Congressman Scott Desjarlais

Reporting by The Associated Press also contributed to this story.

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