Congressman Kilmer explains vote against Trump impeachment

Congressman Derek Kilmer — one of eight members of the Washington state’s 10-member delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives who voted against a resolution this week to impeach President Donald Trump — said questions remain about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Congress voted 332-95 this week to table an impeachment resolution offered by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, who said Trump should be removed from office for the president’s racist comments that four non-white Democratic congresswoman — Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — should “go back” to where they came from.

In a statement following Wednesday’s vote to table the impeachment resolution, Kilmer said: “Congress is entrusted with the duties of safeguarding the Constitution, protecting democratic institutions from corruption, and performing oversight. With Special Counsel Robert Mueller set to testify next week, and the full Mueller report and its underlying evidence yet to be made public, questions about the investigation and its conclusions remain.”

“Congress must further investigate these issues, follow the facts, and take this one step at a time,” continued Kilmer, a 6th District Democrat.

“If the evidence is clear, America cannot and should not condone obstruction of justice or a willingness to benefit from the help of a foreign adversary in the midst of a campaign,” Kilmer said.

Although some members of Congress have been criticized for not reading the Mueller report, Kilmer has read the two-volume conclusion of the special counsel’s two-year investigation — twice.

A total of 137 Democrats voted in favor of tabling the impeachment resolution, along with 194 Republicans and one Independent.

Democrats voting “yes” included Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

The resolution said Trump was “unfit to be President, unfit to represent the American values of decency and morality, respectability and civility, honesty and propriety, reputability and integrity, is unfit to defend the ideals that have made America great, unfit to defend liberty and justice for all as extolled in the Pledge of Allegiance, is unfit to defend the American ideal of all persons being created equal as exalted in the Declaration of Independence, is unfit to ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare and to ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity as lauded in the preamble to the United States Constitution, [and] is unfit to protect the government of the people, by the people, for the people…”

It continued: “Donald John Trump has, by his statements, brought the high office of the President of the United States in contempt, ridicule, disgrace, and disrepute, has sown seeds of discord among the people of the United States, has demonstrated that he is unfit to be President, and has betrayed his trust as President of the United States to the manifest injury of the people of the United States, and has committed a high misdemeanor in office.”

Two members of Washington’s members in the U.S. House voted against tabling the resolution: U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a 7th District Democrat; and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, a 2nd District Democrat.

The impeachment vote followed a resolution approved Tuesday that condemned Trump’s comments about the four newly elected Democratic congresswoman of color as racist.

That resolution passed 240-187.

Kilmer, and all Democratic Party members of the House, voted to approve the resolution, which was also supported by four Republicans and one Independent. Six other Republican members did not cast votes.