Members of the Washington delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives have released statements on the impeachment of President Trump. Here’s what they’ve been saying. The seven Democrats favored impeachment, and the three Republicans opposed it.
Suzan DelBene, D-Medina (1st District)
Statement on Dec. 17:
“Tomorrow, I will vote in favor of impeaching the President of the United States. After carefully reviewing the evidence and the articles of impeachment, it is clear that President Trump abused the power of the presidency and obstructed Congress.
“I did not come to this conclusion lightly. Impeachment is a serious matter, but no president can be allowed to pressure a foreign country to interfere in our elections. His behavior has jeopardized the integrity of our elections, put our national security at risk and placed his personal interests above those of the American people and our allies. His obstruction has prevented the House from conducting its constitutional duties of oversight of the executive branch. By failing to uphold his oath of office, President Trump is forcing Members of the House of Representatives to uphold ours.”
Rick Larsen, D-Everett (2nd District)
Statement on Dec. 18:
“This week, the House will vote on the two Articles of Impeachment. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee filed its report which lays out the case for impeachment.
“First, the report details how President Trump abused the power of the Oval Office for personal benefit when he pressured a foreign government to investigate an American citizen and a political rival.
“Second, the report describes how President Trump engaged in unprecedented obstruction of Congress in an open effort to prevent Congressional investigations into his conduct.
“Based on this report, on evidence presented by the House Intelligence Committee, on previous statements and on precedent, I will be voting in favor of both articles. As a Member of Congress, it is my duty to defend the Constitution and preserve the longstanding principles of integrity and accountability. My decision to support impeachment is, and always has been, a decision of conscience based on considering the lasting impact of unchecked executive power.”
Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Vancouver (3rd District)
Statement on Dec. 13:
“Since the president’s call with Ukraine came to light, I have been clear that no one is above the law. I’ve also advocated for providing the American people with full and absolute transparency into the circumstances surrounding that conversation. This morning, the House Judiciary Committee reported two articles of impeachment to be voted on by the full House of Representatives.
“I will vote against both articles if they reach the House floor, and here’s why —
“The obstruction of Congress article is the least credible of the two. Congress and the White House disagreed over Congress’s right to compel testimony from White House officials, so some White House officials exercised their right to judicial review of the congressional subpoenas. That’s how our system of checks and balances works, and it’s not at all uncommon for the White House and Congress to take their disputes to court. No one at the White House has defied a court order. The rushed timeline for this process set by House Democratic leadership is irrelevant, and the White House asking a court to settle a dispute is not an impeachable act.
“The second article on abuse of power charges the president with ‘corrupt motives,’ but here again, efforts to prove the president’s motives have been defeated by the lack of firsthand testimony caused by Democratic leadership’s rushed timeline. House committee chairs were unwilling to press the subpoenas on witnesses who could have provided firsthand accounts of the president’s actions, and instead relied on witnesses who’d never even met the president, could only provide secondhand testimony, and offered assumptions based on what they say they heard from other White House officials and Rudy Giuliani — not the president. The one witness who could provide a firsthand account based on personal conversations with the president, Gordon Sondland, testified that the president told him there was ‘no quid pro quo’ and that he made his own presumptions on what the president wanted. Aid to Ukraine was delayed but then later provided prior to the statutory deadline. The Ukrainian president says he was not pressured, Ukraine did not announce or open an investigation, and the country received its aid. The president’s motives for his actions remain unproven. I will not vote to impeach based on hearsay testimony from secondhand sources — to do so diminishes impeachment to a mere political disagreement. So I am a ‘no’ on both counts.”
Dan Newhouse. R-Sunnyside (4th District)
Statement on Oct. 31:
“I will not vote to rubberstamp the House Democrats’ closed-door impeachment hearings. The process approved today by House Democrats keeps Members of Congress and the millions of Americans they represent in the dark,” said Rep. Newhouse. “This resolution greenlights a flawed, unprecedented process that gives Chairman Schiff complete control, continues to limit the ability of Republicans to fully participate in hearings, and denies basic due process rights to the president and his counsel. I voted against the resolution because the American people deserve transparent and fair proceedings.”
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane (5th District)
Statement on Oct. 31:
“For weeks, Democrats have conducted their impeachment meetings behind closed doors. They’ve made it impossible to trust the President will ever get a fair process. This resolution allows Chairman Schiff to keep working in private and ignores the President’s due process, a fundamental right in America. From these secret proceedings to Chairman Adam Schiff falsifying statements, this has been a hyper-partisan approach from the start. I still haven’t seen evidence of an impeachable offense.
“Since the President was elected, Democrats have solely focused on impeachment, instead of working in a bipartisan way to solve the real challenges Eastern Washington families face like passing USMCA, lowering prescription drug costs, and fixing a broken immigration system.”
Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor (6th District)
Statement on Dec. 17:
“I didn’t come to Congress to pursue impeachment. Rather, as most of the folks I represent likely know, my focus has been on trying to create more economic opportunity in our region and pushing to have a government that works better – period. Having said that, the very first thing I do as your representative is raise my right hand and swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. That’s a commitment I take seriously.
“It matters to me that all elected officials are held accountable to the public. It should never be acceptable for a sitting president – or any elected official – to abuse their position of power to achieve their political aims. This is a value that extends beyond party politics and is critical to our adherence to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy.
“To be clear, this cannot be and should not be about politics – now or in the future – nor should it be about re-litigating the 2016 election.
“Rather, the focus must be on whether the president abused his office and obstructed Congress in its investigation to evaluate that abuse.
“The two articles of impeachment that Congress will consider lay out two important points. First, the President abused the power of his office. In testimony by members of the president’s own administration, it is clear that he withheld security assistance from one of our allies, demanding a “favor” from them in the form of an investigation of his political rival. Second, the President directed the White House and Executive Branch agencies to defy lawful subpoenas, prevent testimony and withhold documents that were within the scope of the impeachment inquiry.
“Based on the evidence brought to light in the course of the impeachment inquiry, more than 500 constitutional scholars recently signed a letter saying that they believe the president committed impeachable conduct. This comes on the heels of over 300 national security professionals – Democrats and Republicans – supporting the impeachment inquiry based on the damaging ramifications of the President’s actions related to the Ukraine.
“Having reviewed the evidence laid out in the impeachment inquiry and having evaluated these various assessments, I intend to support the articles of impeachment put before the House.
“As I’ve said previously, this entire process is disruptive, and it may further polarize a country that is already far too divided. But in my view, these incidents should not be dismissed based on politics, party biases, or the fear of some predicted outcome. My approach on this is not grounded in politics or partisanship but rather a belief that simply ignoring these allegations sets a dangerous precedent for future presidents – and sends a frightening message regarding our adherence to the rule of law.
“Some have asked, ‘why not just wait until the election next November?’
“Honestly, that is more difficult when the questionable conduct is specifically focused on a president’s effort to manipulate the 2020 election. In addition, our national security is impacted when any president uses their office to ask a foreign government for political help. In fact, the letter from national security experts states that the President’s actions should be considered a “profound national security concern.
“As the representative for our region, I will continue working every day to grow jobs. And I will keep working to have government work better for the people.”
Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle (7th District)
On the House floor Wednesday:
“Mr. Speaker, this is a day of accountability and defending our democracy. The facts in front of us are clear. This president, Donald J. Trump, coerced a fragile, foreign ally to investigate his political opponent and interfere in our elections. And he leveraged critically needed, Congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine.
“The President’s allies want to claim that he did this because he cared about corruption.
“But if President Trump truly cared about corruption, then he would have listened to the talking points that were prepared by the National Security Council on anti-corruption. He did not. In fact, on those two calls with President Zelensky, he never mentioned the word ‘corruption.’
“He did not abide by the Department of Defense’s own recommendation that Ukraine had passed all the anti-corruption benchmarks; and he did not listen to the unanimous conclusion of all his top advisors that he must release that aid to Ukraine.
“He did release the aid in 2017 and 2018—but not in 2019.
“Because in 2019, Vice President Biden was running for President.
“Because this is not hearsay, we have a responsibility—the President told us himself on national television exactly what he wanted from the phone call with President Zelensky. He came onto the White House lawn and he said, ‘I wanted President Zelensky to open an investigation into the Bidens.’
“He solicited foreign interference before. He is doing it now, and he will do it again. The President is the smoking gun.
“Our founders entrusted us with the awesome responsibility of protecting our democracy, which gets its power not from the bloodlines of monarchs but from the votes of ‘We, the People.’ Without that, we are no longer a democracy, we are a monarchy or a dictatorship.
“And so today, to uphold my oath to Constitution and country, I will vote to impeach Donald J. Trump.”
Kim Schrier, D-Sammamish (8th District)
Statement on Dec. 13:
“The people of the 8th district sent me to Congress to bring down the cost of health care, fight for their families, and make thoughtful, evidence-based decisions. I did not come to Congress to impeach the President. However, the evidence before us, including from the President himself, is serious.
“The President abused the power of his office to sway the 2020 election in his favor. He put his own political interest above the interests of our nation. And then, when pressed for more information, he refused to cooperate or let key witnesses testify. No one is above the law.
“On my first day in office, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect our country. Given all the facts before us, impeachment is the only remedy. No future president should ever believe that this was acceptable behavior.”
Adam Smith, D-Bellevue (9th District)
Statement on Dec. 17:
“After careful consideration of the evidence and witness testimony, I plan to vote in support of both articles of impeachment against President Trump. Accountability is a central tenet of our democracy, and in this solemn moment, it is crucial that Congress sends a strong and clear message that President Trump—and all presidents who follow him—will be held accountable and will not be given a free pass to abuse the presidency for personal gain.
“We must uphold the ideals of our republic against this test of our democratic resilience. We cannot ignore the evidence before us, and we cannot allow our vision to be clouded by partisanship. We must uphold our country’s values.
“As always, I will vote with the interests of the constituents of Washington’s Ninth District at the top of my mind. They deserve better than a president who actively undermines our electoral process and repeatedly jeopardizes our national security. They deserve a president who respects, rather than corrupts, his or her office. This president has defied our system of checks and balances by ignoring congressional subpoenas and obstructing Congress. By pressuring a foreign government to investigate a political opponent, he has blatantly abused the power of the presidency. His actions fly in the face of the democracy that our founding fathers boldly established and that our uniformed men and women work dutifully to secure every day.
“Since the launch of the impeachment inquiry, I have read messages from my constituents, heard their questions at town halls, and met with them in our community. On countless occasions, I have heard deep concerns about the damage this president has done to our country; I have also heard from constituents who oppose impeachment. I want all my constituents to know that my decision to vote for articles of impeachment was not a political one, and I will continue my work on issues that are important to our congressional district—from reigning in the costs of health care and medications to addressing the affordable housing shortage to enhancing and expanding infrastructure. Representing and advocating for those in Washington’s Ninth Congressional District is not a responsibility I take lightly. In order to fulfill this duty, I will continue working to secure fairness, integrity, and accountability in our government.”
Denny Heck, D-Olympia (10th District)
Statement on July 28:
“For many months multiple committees of the House have been engaged in investigations both of potentially illegal acts by President Trump related to Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” interference in the 2016 election and of the President’s response to investigations into that interference.
“As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I’ve been deeply involved in that effort. I’ve sat through hundreds of hours of closed and open testimony, read and reread the findings of the Office of the Special Counsel (the Mueller Report), and spoken with and listened to the people of the Tenth Congressional District.
“In last week’s hearings, I also had the opportunity to hear directly from Special Counsel Mueller and, along with my colleagues, to personally engage him in questions. After considerable reflection and prayerful consideration, I’ve reached some conclusions.
“First, there is no question that the President encouraged, welcomed and benefited from the interference of a foreign adversary in our 2016 election. Furthermore, he has both refused to fully acknowledge it occurred and even suggested he might welcome such interference again. The White House has also opposed Congressional measures to enhance election security going forward. This strikes at the very core of our democracy and democratic values. America’s elections are for Americans. Period. Support of free, fair and open elections is not negotiable.
“The President has also engaged in an aggressive and active cover-up of the effort to reveal all the facts. This is particularly true of the many ways in which potential financial conflicts or motivations may have guided the Trump campaign or several of its high-ranking officials. This was the essence of my exchange with Special Counsel Mueller during the hearing last week. Americans deserve to know the full extent of the facts. Officially initiating an impeachment inquiry substantially strengthens the legal hand of the House to discover all information.
“I am familiar with the political arguments against initiating an impeachment inquiry based on the findings to date. For example, some suggest that the Senate is highly unlikely to convict the President should the House impeach him and that his chances of reelection will therefore be enhanced. That may be true. What is truer is that nothing less than the rule of law is at stake.
“Accordingly, I support initiation of an impeachment inquiry by the House Judiciary Committee and will support measures to accomplish this when Congress returns to Washington, D.C.”