Kuster, saying Trump 'abused power of presidency,' supports impeachment; Pappas to review articles
MANCHESTER, N.H. —
Four-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster made it clear late Tuesday that she supports the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
"President Trump has abused the power of the presidency for his own gain at the expense of our national security and the integrity of the 2020 election," Kuster, who represents the state's 2nd Congressional District, said in a video statement.
"Unfortunately, President Trump has left us no choice. As members of Congress, we took an oath to protect our Constitution, and we must ensure that no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States.” It was the first time that Kuster left no doubt she supports impeachment, although as a strong supporter of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, she had long been viewed as heading in that direction.
Democratic U.S. House leaders unveiled two articles of impeachment against Trump early Tuesday, charging abuse of power and obstruction of justice.
While Kuster directly accused Trump of violating his oath of office, 1st District U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas stopped short of calling for impeachment. He promised Tuesday to review the articles of impeachment, calling it “a somber and serious day in our nation’s history.”
Pappas, serving in his first term, is running for a second term in a district that Trump won in 2016. Kuster is seeking a fifth term.
Pappas said he is focusing on his job as a member of Congress, while weighing the impeachment articles and related evidence.
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the articles this week, and the full House could vote next week. If Trump is impeached, a trial will be held in the U.S. Senate with senators sitting as jurors and considering whether Trump should be removed from office. A two-thirds majority vote would be required to remove the president.
Also Tuesday, U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen provided their views of the proceedings ahead, saying they support a fair process if the matter goes to the Senate. See the two Democrats' comments below.
Pappas, meanwhile, said in a statement: "After months of investigations and hearings, the House Judiciary Committee has introduced two articles of impeachment concerning President Trump’s use of nearly $400 million in military aid to pressure foreign actors to intervene in our electoral process and his systematic efforts to obstruct Congress’s constitutionally mandated oversight role on behalf of the American people.
“This is a somber and serious day in our nation’s history and one in which partisan politics must be disavowed.
“As I continue to work on the issues that Granite State families sent me to Washington to tackle such as lowering costs of prescription drugs, investing in infrastructure, and supporting our veterans, I will review these articles and the underlying evidence further before this moves to the House floor for a vote,” Pappas said.
He added: “I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to protect our democracy, and these are responsibilities that cannot be compromised. I remain committed to considering the unbiased facts of this case with the thought and care that this moment requires.”
Kuster said: “The facts are clear and uncontested. President Trump has abused the power of the presidency for his own personal gain at the expense of our national security and the integrity of the 2020 election.
"President Trump continues to solicit foreign interference in our upcoming election, which is a direct threat to our democracy and the sanctity of every American’s vote.
“I believe that the president has violated his oath of office and his actions represent a clear and present danger that he will continue to abuse his power for his own political gain.
“If there is information that clears President Trump of wrongdoing, he should provide it to Congress and to the American people. Instead, he continues to block witnesses from testifying and to stonewall the investigation in order to cover up his misconduct.
“Unfortunately, President Trump has left us no choice. As members of Congress, we took an oath to protect our Constitution, and we must ensure that no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States.”
Hassan said: “I appreciate and think it’s really important that witness testimony, transcripts, and the Intelligence Committee’s report have been made public so that Granite Staters and all Americans can review the facts for themselves.
"Given the incredibly serious nature of the prospect of impeachment and resulting trial in the Senate, I hope all Americans will take the time to familiarize themselves with these materials and the facts they lay out. If the House votes to impeach the president, all Senators will take an oath to be impartial jurors in the Senate trial, and I will push for a fair and thorough process to evaluate the facts before reaching a decision."
Hassan added: "It is also vital that as this process plays out, members of both parties continue working together to get results for the American people on critical issues such as lowering health care costs.”
Shaheen said: “I have always been supportive of making sure all the facts are made available to the American people. As a juror in any upcoming Senate trial, I have a duty to withhold judgement, encourage a fair process and make a determination impartially.
"Every senator has an obligation to put country before party. However, this process should not stop Congress from addressing urgent kitchen table issues important to Granite Staters, such as lowering drug prices, making health care more affordable, supporting our veterans and safeguarding our national security.”