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Rep. Steny Hoyer: Impeachment About 'Protection Of The Constitution,' Not Party

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer shot down the notion that Democrats should not be moving forward on impeachment because there wasn't a single Republican that was willing to put protecting the country and the Constitution over protecting their party and Trump.
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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer shot down the notion that Democrats should not be moving forward on impeachment because there wasn't a single Republican that was willing to put protecting the country and the Constitution over protecting their party and Trump on this Sunday's Face the Nation:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, the- my question on timing here also has to do with the fact that what we saw on the vote this week was not a single Republican vote for it. Why not take--

REP. HOYER: Can I stop you on that?

MARGARET BRENNAN: --your time- well, why not- I know it's just a resolution, it's not--

REP. HOYER: No, no, more than that--

MARGARET BRENNAN: --articles yet, but--

REP. HOYER: --I think the Republicans didn't vote for it because Mr. McCarthy told them, and I've talked to some of them, 'this is a procedural vote.' It was not. It was a substantive vote to assure that a fair hearing going forward before the public was going to be held.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So is it still important to you to have this be a bipartisan vote, when articles of impeachment are actually put forward? Do you actually expect to peel away a few Republicans?

REP. HOYER: Look, I think every member of Congress, Republican or Democrat, ought to vote not their party, not their partisanship, but the Constitution, and the protection of the Constitution. If they believe, and this is the answer they're going to come to grips with. Because 80 percent of the American peoples thinks it was wrong for the president of the United States to be withholding dollars appropriated by the Congress for Ukraine's defense. And in effect saying, 'you can't get a meeting with me in the White House unless you undertake an investigation'--

MARGARET BRENNAN: But--

REP. HOYER: Eighty percent of the American people thinks that was wrong.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But- but this--

REP. HOYER: And that had--

MARGARET BRENNAN: --may hurt Democrats to have this be perceived to be partisan, fully. I mean if you go into--


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REP. HOYER: Well, look--

MARGARET BRENNAN: If the House goes ahead with the impeachment, and the Republicans as you know control the Senate, it's unlikely that you're going to get 20 senators to vote to actually convict the president on this. So does this ultimately become a political albatross for Democrats who are trying to run in 2020, because they couldn't deliver?

REP. HOYER: MARGARET, this is not a calculation about whether this is good for us politically or bad for us politically--

MARGARET BRENNAN: But it will have political ramifications--

REP. HOYER: It- it may well have. But we have a duty. We have a duty to the country, to the American people, and to the Constitution of the United States. And if we find, after the Judiciary Committee considers all the evidence, that there is reason to believe probable cause we lawyers would say, that the president of the United States has committed a high crime and misdemeanor. Now high crime, according to Hamilton, is an abuse of power, not a crime as we generally think of it, but an abuse of power.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is--

REP. HOYER: Eighty percent of the American people think the president should not have been involving a head of a foreign government in our elections.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And- and in- it ultimately comes down to whatever--

REP. HOYER: And that puts not only our constitution at risk, but---

MARGARET BRENNAN: --whatever Congress decides it is.

REP. HOYER: --our national security at risk.

Amanda Marcotte had the perfect response to questions like Brennan's today over at Salon. Sadly, I don't think Brennan has read it: Sorry, pundits: The problem isn't "polarization" — Republicans have lost their damn minds:

When the final vote tally on a formal resolution governing the impeachment inquiry concluded on Thursday with a party-line split — all Republicans present voted against the resolution, and all but two Democrats voted for it — one could practically hear the squeak of excitement from the mainstream media pundit class. Here was an opportunity to run with a "partisan polarization" narrative that neatly sidesteps the substantive disagreement between the two parties.

The situation is simple: The Republican Party, both its politicians and its voters, has collectively decided that it's fine for Donald Trump to use his office to run an illegal extortion scheme against a foreign leader in an effort to cheat in the 2020 election. The moral rot of the Republican Party, and its cultist loyalty to a criminal president is the sole reason for this situation. Democrats are — rather too reluctantly! — trying to do something to stop the bleeding.

But to read mainstream news coverage, one would think the real problem is that both sides are irascible and bitterly divided, and that there's some reasonable solution that involves everyone joining hands and finding some way to compromise.

Go read the rest. She shreds the line of questioning we saw from Brennan today and sadly from major publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, the AP, CNN, NBC and others.

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