By Congressman Greg Walden,
Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released the following statement after he voted no on the House vote to impeach President Donald Trump:
“President Donald Trump is unique in the history of the American presidency. No one has led as he has. His success and his style have frustrated his opponents.
“Remember back to the fall of 2016 when pundits and politicians on the left lectured Americans about the historical need to accept the outcome of the election? Then Hillary Clinton lost. Some began undermining and attacking the President before he had even taken office. Others called for his impeachment.
“Meanwhile, we now know–as a result of the Horowitz investigation–that some in the FBI engaged in nefarious actions to investigate the Trump campaign. They lied to and misled the FISA court in an incredible abuse of power by a government agency. Civil libertarians are rightly outraged by what occurred. Laws designed to protect America from foreign terrorists were misused to spy on an American presidential campaign.
“The false narrative of the Trump campaign colluding with the Russians dominated the first two years of the Trump presidency. I supported the appointment of Mr. Mueller and repeatedly stood up for the independence of his investigation. I wanted the facts.
“The Mueller investigation spent years and millions of taxpayer dollars and came up empty. That report produced nothing impeachable, or the articles of impeachment would include the findings of that report.
“For me, overturning the outcome of an election demands two things: A bipartisan and fair process to determine wrong doing, and a criminal offense worthy of overturning the outcome of the voters’ will. Neither threshold has been met in this case.
“With a clear conscience, I will vote against both articles of impeachment.
“Read the articles of impeachment. “Abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress,” are the charges. Neither of these are criminal violations. This isn’t perjury or burglary.
“Every administration—Democratic and Republican- pushes back against Congress’ request for witnesses and information. The Constitution enshrines this separate-branch conflict. Congress doesn’t like being told no. At times we’ve sued over it. It’s the tension our founders designed into the competing branches of government. Work it out, or go to the courts. But in this case, they truncated the timeline to exclude a judicial review. They announced the outcome before the investigation was completed.
“I voted to hold President Obama’s Attorney General in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the “fast and furious” fiasco. Congress sued and won this case. But Republicans never seriously thought about impeaching the President.
“I threatened to subpoena President Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions to his face in the East Room of the White House during our investigation of the opioid crisis. We eventually worked it out and got to review the data we sought. Not once did I think about impeaching the President over this matter.
“The anti-Trump crowd has weaponized impeachment and converted it into a partisan tool, something one of America’s founding fathers–Alexander Hamilton–warned against. The American people elected President Trump to shake things up in Washington, D.C. And that’s precisely what he’s done.
“Lower taxes and less oppressive regulations would not have happened under a Clinton Administration. Hillary Clinton would not have stood up to China as President Trump has. She would not have demanded and gotten a new and better trade deal with our friends to the north and south. As for the Russians, she’s the one who led the “reset” with Russia that offended our European allies and played into Putin’s hand.
“We’ve never had a better economy or lower unemployment in the modern era. We’re the envy of the world. America is standing up to our competitors and enemies. We’re getting new and better trade agreements and bringing more jobs back to America.
“We’ve never had a President lean in more to get lower drug prices or make our allies keep their promises to help pay for their national security.
“President Trump is doing exactly what he promised, and that includes violating the political norms of the Washington, D.C. swamp. And for that, the left wants to send him packing.
“If facts matter, we should not impeach this president, but instead get back to work solving the problems facing American families.”