On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to begin a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s actions related to Ukraine. The votes fell largely along party lines, with most Democrats in favor, and all Republicans voting “no.” As a prime state for both fundraising and electoral votes, many observers wondered how Texas representatives would vote, and how they may be planning to navigate the coming impeachment hearings.
Todd Gillman is Washington bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News. He says all Texas Democrats supported the resolution, with all Republicans opposed. That included retiring Republican Will Hurd, who Gillman says some thought might be willing to support the inquiry.
“He stuck with the Republican talking points that the process has not been fair up to this point, and there’s not evidence sufficient to impeach at this point,” Gillman says.
Democrat Al Green was among the first to call for impeaching the president, long before the current scandal over an alleged quid pro quo between Trump and the Ukrainian government arose. Gillman says that in the past, Democratic leaders have not wanted Green to speak out about impeachment. Green’s desire to see Trump impeached dates back to before the president’s inauguration, Gilman says.
“He’s kind of being quietly, smugly vindicated,” Gillman says.
Republicans have focused most of their arguments against the inquiry on the process used by the Democrat-led investigating committees, to this point. Republicans say the process has been secretive, though Republican members of the committees have been present for witness testimony. Texas Republicans have made these arguments, too.
“They are very much sticking to this talking point,” Gillman says. “And it’s a little disingenuous for them to say that the process is secret. First of all, Congressional committees conduct depositions routinely behind the scenes, not with cameras running.”
Gillman says he has asked Texas Republicans to comment on the substance of the charges against Trump.
“Almost to a person, they pivot back to ‘the process hasn’t been fair, the president hasn’t been able to confront his accusers,’” Gillman says.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.