Nevada GOP congressman is not in support of impeachment...yet

Nevada GOP congressman is not in support of impeachment...yet

Impeachment-loving anti-Trumpers were giddy Friday when it looked like a crack in the thus far solid Republican support of the president may have been discovered. Alas, the Republican lawmaker involved quickly dashed the hopes of Never-Trump partisans.

Rep. Mark Amodei spoke on the telephone with reporters Friday and the subject of impeachment came up. During the phone call Amodei, who has represented Nevada’s 2nd District since 2011, said what most Republicans have said publicly. He just did so in a less than crisply articulate way. Therefore, some took his remarks to mean Amodei is in favor of impeachment. The only Republican in Nevada’s congressional delegation began by saying, “Let’s put it through the process and see what happens.”

“I’m a big fan of oversight, so let’s let the committees get to work and see where it goes,” he added.

“Using government agencies to, if it’s proven, to put your finger on the scale of an election, I don’t think that’s right,” he continued. “If it turns out that it’s something along those lines, then there’s a problem.”

Those are sensible statements if you ask me. He sounds like most Republicans – let’s let the process work. He isn’t like the leftists who are demanding impeachment rightthisminute, without any nod to due process. He even says “if it turns out …” which indicates he acknowledges the reporting thus far is probably flawed, as we have seen since the beginning of the Trump administration.

Nonetheless, the kneejerk reactions on social media streamed in. Amodei is the first GOP congressman to support impeachment inquiries, thus the dam is breaking. Or so some folks hoped.

A reporter for The Nevada Independent wrote up a piece about the call and that’s when the fun began. The tweets were then answered by Jon Ralston, who has a long career history in Nevada as a journalist, political commentator, and former talk show host. He explained that he’s known the congressman for a long time and this is just how he speaks. Ralston noted that Amodei doesn’t want to reflexively support the president but he doesn’t want to act as though the worst interpretation of the Ukraine story is true, either. In other words, Amodei is a fence-straddler. You know, like politicians do.

Ralston goes on to say that Amodei said he’s in support of impeachment inquiries but the leap to supporting impeachment is illogical. Amodei said, yes, if the evidence points to wrongdoing, then he’ll support impeachment. And Ralston notes that he has no doubt that Amodei’s GOP colleagues are angry with him for speaking as he does. He admits the anti-Trumpers are looking for a crack – any crack in Trump’s support on the Republican side.

It seems to me that using Amodei’s conversation with reporters to play up that GOP support may be waning by some members is premature and in this case, it doesn’t make sense. Amodei expects to be Trump’s campaign manager in Nevada. He won’t go on record as to if anything he’s seen in the complaint or the memo on the phone transcript rises to the level of an impeachable offense. He’s waiting for the process to play out.

Amodei issued a rebuttal to those finding something supportive of impeachment in his remarks.

“I held a 40-minute telephone press conference today with Nevada media outlets to respond to their questions about the impeachment inquiry made by Speaker Pelosi earlier this week,” said Congressman Amodei.

“Following that call, Nevada Independent reporter Humberto Sanchez released an article. The first paragraph of Mr. Sanchez’s article reads: ‘Rep. Mark Amodei supports the House’s inquiry into whether President Donald Trump should be impeached, but is withholding judgment on whether Trump has crossed the legal line.’”

“This is absolutely an accurate statement in the sense that the House and Senate have both unanimously supported the resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the whistleblower complaint received on August 12, 2019, by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, should be transmitted immediately to the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives. It is also accurate that the White House supports this same resolution. In no way, shape, or form, did I indicate support for impeachment. Rather, I stressed my complete agreement with Senator Cortez-Masto’s (D-NV) statement reported to KTVN Channel 2 from yesterday which is as follows:

‘I think from all of that information, we have to follow the facts and figure out what happened here,’ Cortez-Masto said.

“Anyone who reads Mr. Sanchez’s article and thinks that somehow there is a vote to convict before the process has played out – as called for by the resolution unanimously supported by everyone concerned – is simply, individual fantasy.

“I now have a full appreciation of how the President feels. Have a nice weekend.”

This lawmaker’s statements don’t even rise to the level of cynicism that Mitt Romney has shown so far, in my reading of them. I’m with him, though, on just letting the process work. Democrats are hell-bent on impeaching Trump. I say let them do it. The effort will die in the Senate. I still think all of this will unite Republicans, conservatives, and Independents against the over-zealous Democrats. Their rush to judgment is just more of the same we’ve heard since before Trump was inaugurated. Democrats have been in support of canceling the last presidential election since the results came in.

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