NY-22 Minute: Brindisi Opposes Newly Launched Impeachment Inquiry By Luke Perry
Today the House of Representatives launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump over whether he betrayed his oath of office and America’s security interests by attempting to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a political rival for personal gain. The inquiry will be led by the House Judiciary Committee.
The U.S. Constitution states that impeachment is merited in cases of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” a phrase adopted from British common law referring to abuse of power by high level government officials.
The House is responsible for determining whether the president should be impeached. The Senate is responsible for determining whether the president should be removed from the office.
This evening Rep. Brindisi expressed his opposition to the impeachment inquiry.
“I think we have allegations and news reports right now,” Brindisi explained, “and I’m not going to jump to any conclusion until all of the facts come out.”
Brindisi shared his general opposition to impeachment with Speaker Pelosi earlier this month, prior to the whistleblower complaint that emerged last week. Brindisi, and other fellow swing-district freshman, encouraged House leadership to focus on “kitchen table issues.”
This evening Brindisi also shared his perspective on the whistleblower complaint, relating to a conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky. Brindisi Tweeted a related thread from his Congressional account, compiled here in full:
The allegations surrounding an intelligence official’s whistleblower complaint are incredibly concerning.
The thought that any government official, especially our Commander-in-Chief, would hold up foreign aid to an ally and suggest they investigate a political opponent, is a grave and troubling accusation. It is clear that this Administration needs to provide answers.
The security of the United States depends on getting this right, and I have many more questions. Congress needs to see:
1) A transcript of the President’s call with Ukraine;
2) The contents of the whistleblower disclosure;
3) The contents of the Inspector General’s determination.
We cannot play politics with our national security. We need to know the facts to fulfill our Constitutional duty.
The Inspector General for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, was tasked with reviewing the compliant. Atkinson deemed the complaint “credible,” and by law, forwarded it to the Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire.
Maguire refused to share the complaint with Congressional intelligence committees, even though this is required by federal law, asserting the matter was not an “urgent concern.” This resulted in a subpoena by the House Intelligence Committee and prompted an ensuing legal battle.
The president stated that he will release a transcript tomorrow. Trump won NY-22 by 15 points in 2016, but currently has a 36 percent favorabilty rating in Upstate New York. 62 percent of Upstate New Yorker’s oppose his reelection compared to 33 percent who would vote to re-elect him.
Luke Perry (@PolSciLukePerry) is Professor of Government at Utica College
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