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Trump impeachment inquiry: Iowa’s Congressional delegation reacts, Steve King spins a conspiracy theory, Grassley wants to investigate Hillary Clinton

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United States Capitol Building. — photo by Brian Lorraine for TravelMag.com

All six members of Iowa’s congressional delegation have issued statements about the House of Representatives launching an impeachment inquiry to determine if President Donald Trump should be removed from office.

The three Iowa Democrats in the House all expressed cautious support for the inquiry. On the other side of the capitol, Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, both Republicans, accuse Democrats of pushing for impeachment just to undermine Trump.

Anyone familiar with Steve King, the lone Republican in the Iowa House delegation, won’t be surprised to learn he evoked a baseless conspiracy theory with anti-Semitic undertones in his response to the inquiry.

Democrats

Speaking to KMA, a Shenandoah, Iowa, AM radio station, on Wednesday morning, Rep. Cindy Axne gave the strongest statement of support for the inquiry of any of the Iowa Democrats.

“I took an oath under God, with my hand on the Bible, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” Axne said on KMA’s Morning Line. “Learning that the president pressured a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent is a clear abuse of power. And, we know that he did that — he admitted to that. Beyond that abuse of power, there’s also allegations that the president threatened to leverage U.S. taxpayer dollars — military aid — that Congress had already appropriated to the Ukraine to extort that foreign government.”

“So, if that piece is true, that constitutes an unequivocal violation of our federal laws, and the Constitution that I swore to defend.”

Rep. Dave Loebsack, who is retiring at the end of this term, issued a short written statement, after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the start of the inquiry.

I have felt the need to proceed judiciously given the high constitutional requirements of impeachment, but President Trump’s actions and obstruction require this step of establishing an impeachment inquiry. It is unfortunate that we have ended up at this point. The American people deserve the full truth and it has reached the point where there is no other way to get the necessary information and an impeachment inquiry is justified.

Rep. Abby Finkenauer, who, like Axne, will be up for reelection next year, also issued a written statement after Pelosi spoke.

“I have always supported Congress and our House committees in defending our democracy and Constitution,” Finkenauer said in her statement. “The impeachment inquiry requested today is needed to continue that work. It’s imperative we stand up for our country and hold those accountable who hurt our democracy.”

Finkenauer also sought to address the claim that impeachment will distract Congress from addressing other issues.

“While the appropriate committees do their work, I will not be distracted from my top priorities of continuing to uplift the needs of Iowans, as we’ve been doing from day one, focusing on common sense solutions to lower the cost of prescription drugs, bringing much needed investment to our crumbling infrastructure, and having the backs of our farmers left behind by an administration that values big oil over renewable fuels,” Finkenauer wrote.

Republicans

Sen. Chuck Grassley insisted in a written statement issued Wednesday morning that Trump has done nothing wrong, and complained that Democrats aren’t interested in investigating Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Speaker Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry even before seeing the call transcript or hearing from the alleged whistleblower or the director of national intelligence. That says all anyone needs to know about the legitimacy of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry: impeach now, facts later.

I’ve read the transcript in its entirety. It shows that there was no quid pro quo. The Ukrainian President admitted problems with corruption in the country and agreed that the issue at hand warranted looking into further…

For years, Democrats have decried foreign interference in U.S. elections. But this seems to be a one-way street. Democrats are wholly uninterested in looking into past Ukrainian efforts to help former Vice President Biden, as well as the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, which reportedly used Ukraine to undermine the Trump campaign. That’s not how the rule of law works.

Sen. Joni Ernst, currently running for reelection, issued a briefer written statement, but was equally dismissive of the impeachment inquiry.

House Democrats have spent more than two years—since the morning of November 9, 2016—engaging in antics to undermine President Trump. The fact that they are pushing for impeachment is no surprise, as their motives have always been crystal clear. The Senate Intelligence Committee, in a thoughtful and bipartisan manner, is doing its job and looking into the claims by the whistleblower, and I support that effort. Shame on the House Democrats if they use impeachment as an excuse to play politics instead of focusing on issues that affect the livelihoods of Iowans across our state.

Rep. Steve King responded to Pelosi’s announcement with a video statement. King, who was stripped of all his committee assignments in Congress due to his longstanding association with white nationalists and anti-Semites, claimed the decision to start the inquiry is part of a “George Soros-led resist movement” that was launched by Democrats following a 2016 meeting held behind “closed doors.” Soros is often the focus of false and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, including those of the white nationalist Freedom Party of Austria, which King has supported.

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King said the inquiry is “going to end up in a flop, and there’ll be a price paid in the election box.”

At the state-level, the Iowa Republican Party issued a statement denouncing the inquiry shortly after Pelosi announced it. Gov. Kim Reynolds, co-chair of Trump’s reelection campaign in Iowa, has so far avoided commenting directly on the inquiry.

During her Tuesday morning press conference, which took place hours before Pelosi spoke, Reynolds was asked about the possibility of Trump facing impeachment. The governor sidestepped the question, saying instead that Congress should focus on other issues.

“Let’s start to do something that continues to grow this economy and provide predictability and stability, not only to our farmers, but our small businesses, our families and our manufacturers,” Reynolds said. “Get in there and get that done.”


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