Pennsylvania congressional delegation members take turns slamming president, impeachment inquiry

December 10, 2019
In The News

The news Tuesday morning that the Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives had filed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump elicited strong reactions from members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation.

Republican Rep. Fred Keller, who has been one of the president’s staunchest supporters since joining the House in a special election this year, called Tuesday “a sad day for our republic.”

“The articles of impeachment announced today are not fueled by any facts or first-hand accounts, but rather a fantastical hatred for the President of the United States of America,” Keller said in a statement. “The actions of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and their House Democratic colleagues have done – and will continue to do – nothing but tear this country apart.”

Impeachment is the process by which the House of Representatives formally accuses the president of wrongdoing that it considers worthy of removal of office. If the articles of impeachment are approved in the Democrat-controlled House, the matter would then move to the Republican-controlled Senate for a formal trial.

The two articles of impeachment unveiled Tuesday accuse the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The charges stem from allegations that the president improperly withheld promised monetary aid to Ukraine as a way to force an investigations into the business dealings of Hunter Biden – the son of political rival Joe Biden, the leading candidate in a number of polls for the Democratic nomination for president.

Rep. Madeleine Dean, a Democrat, argued that the president’s actions constituted a misuse of power for his own benefit.

“President Trump put himself before the country – violating a President’s most basic responsibility,” Dean wrote on Twitter. “He broke his oath to the American people. He has left us no choice. We must act and protect our Republic.”

Dean was echoed by fellow Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon, who argued that Trump’s actions were unique in American history.

“No president in history has used the power of the Presidency to betray our democracy & corrupt our elections as this one has,” Scanlon said on Twitter. “Abuse of power & obstruction of Congress are the highest of high crimes under our Constitution. President Trump must be impeached.”

Republican Rep. Dan Meuser, on the other hand, described Democrats impeachment efforts as “Orwellian,” saying that the process has gone on without proper input from the American people.

“Finally, Democrat leadership has come up with the terms they find most effective for their impeachment sham,” he said in a series of tweets. “They’ve tried Russian corruption, bribery, quid pro quo, and obstruction of justice, and have now finally arrived at “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”

“The group abusing power here is Democrat leadership, with the presumption of guilt and the lack of due process against @RealDonaldTrump,” he continued. “Additionally, they have obstructed Congress by holding secret hearings to vet their own witnesses as rehearsals before public viewing.”

Rep. John Joyce, also a Republican, argued in a statement that the impeachment process was simply the result of Democrats’ desire to remove the president from office at any price, whether or not removal was merited.

“Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have been planning to impeach President Trump since Election Day 2016,” Joyce said. “For years, they have sought to undermine the President and prevent him from fulfilling his Constitutional responsibilities. Since gaining control of the House in January, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have obsessed over endless investigations of the Trump Administration, grasping at straws while withholding evidence from elected Members of Congress.”

No American president has ever been removed via the impeachment process. Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton survived impeachment trials in the Senate, while President Richard Nixon resigned before an impeachment vote could take place.