Members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump on allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Wednesday. Trump is now the third president to be impeached in U.S. history. The Senate will decide if he will be removed from office.
Here's how Nevada's representatives voted:
- Rep. Mark Amodei (R): Nay to both
- Rep. Dina Titus (D): Yay to both
- Rep. Susie Lee (D): Yay to both
- Rep. Steven Horsford (D): Yay to both
The following is a roundup of responses from Nevada's representatives about their votes.
Congressman Mark Amodei (R):
Nevada's only republican congressman, Rep. Mark Amodei, released the following statement about his vote.
At the beginning of the Ukraine Whistleblower issue, I indicated I would review the allegations and compare them with the facts and the applicable law, rules, and historical precedents. I have done that.
We have two Articles of Impeachment: Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress.
The question when considering the present impeachment vote is: Was the relevant conduct a high crime or misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor is not a civil offense. The reference in the Constitution to high ‘crimes’ is self-explanatory. Why these words are noteworthy is because the factual proof-standard in criminal matters is: beyond a reasonable doubt.
Accordingly, with respect to the first Article of Impeachment, does proof beyond a reasonable doubt exist in the reports of the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees? To be clear, the Constitution uses the word ‘conviction’, which is a criminal phrase not a civil litigation term.
The majority alleges their allegation is a factual one: That in a July 25, 2019 phone call, in exchange for foreign aid and a presidential meeting, the President solicited the interference of Ukraine in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. Specifically, that he wanted a public announcement of Ukrainian investigations into Joseph and Hunter Biden, regarding past official and personal actions, and that such an investigation be conducted.
Documentary evidence includes the actual transcript of the Trump-Zelenskyy July 25 phone call. Neither side has questioned the authenticity or accuracy of the document, so as evidentiary value as to who said what during the subject phone conversation, the transcript is uncontroverted.
The transcript indicates the President said: ‘Whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great… So, if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.’
There is testimonial evidence by civil service individuals, indicating their speculation on the motives behind the above-cited presidential statements. No corroborative evidence was presented for that testimony, except for personal opinions. There was also testimonial opinion evidence which contradicted the quid pro quo or bribery/corruption opinion testimony of the civil service witnesses.
It is also worth noting at this point, that the House’s role in an impeachment action is similar to the function of a criminal grand jury. Evidence of an alleged crime is presented to members of a grand jury, and they vote yes or no on issuing an indictment. The point here is, the Members of the House are essentially grand jurors. The decision by the majority to prevent Members from observing the opinion testimony of a number of the civil service opinion witnesses prevented the vast majority of Members from having the opportunity to judge for themselves the credibility of the individual opinion witnesses. That is likely a fundamental mistake when your case rests on witness opinions and you are attempting to satisfy, at trial, a proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard.
Nevertheless, we have the transcript, civil service witness competing opinions, and finally, what actually did and did not happen after this phone call. What happened after the phone call is also essentially uncontested. Ukrainian aid was slowed for several weeks but provided by mid-September. There was a meeting between President Trump and President Zelenskyy. There is no evidence that the Ukrainian Government has investigated the Bidens and therefore, no announcements regarding the same.
Accordingly, when considering the phone call language of ‘whatever you can do’, and ‘if you can look into it’, coupled with the conflicting civil service witnesses’ opinion testimonies, the uncontested facts that foreign aid was disbursed, that the Presidents met, and that there was no Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens, and therefore, no announcement regarding the same, I can’t identify where any proof-standard of a crime being committed by the President has been achieved regarding an alleged quid pro quo/bribery and corruption scenario.
Add to all this the label of ‘political opponents’ being targeted by the phone call requests. The fact allegation rests on the apparent belief that by allegedly targeting the Bidens, President Trump knew in July of 2019 who the 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee was going to be. Wow!
Proof? Proof by a preponderance? Proof beyond a reasonable doubt? I acknowledge that politics are important, however, our nation’s institutional integrity and our fundamental touchstones, have a value that should overcome political fanaticism and lust for power.
On Article One, I will vote nay.
Regarding the Obstruction of Congress Article of Impeachment, I served on the Judiciary Committee for three years when Lamar Smith was the Chairman. The Republicans were in the majority in the House, Harry Reid was the Senate Majority Leader, and Barack Obama was the President of the United States.
Following, is a partial list of the highlights, or lowlights, of Administration vs. the House Judiciary Committee regarding the production of documents and witnesses:
- Eric Holder refusing to provide subpoenaed Fast & Furious documents;
- Lois Lerner refusing to testify on IRS targeting;
- Ben Rhodes not being allowed to testify on the Iran Nuclear Deal;
- Treasury officials blocked from testifying on Obamacare subsidies;
- White House refusing to allow political director, David Simas, to testify;
- Justice Kagan's Obamacare conflict of interest;
- Refusing to provide subpoenaed Solyndra documents;
- Refusing to let the White House social secretary testify on the party crashers scandal; and
- Fighting subpoenas in the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation investigation.
Add to this list, another interesting chapter. In 2016, the House Select Committee on Benghazi, led by former Rep. Trey Gowdy, sent a letter containing more than a dozen questions to President Obama regarding the attack in Benghazi. President Obama refused to answer the questions, and instead, White House counsel responded, ‘If the President were to answer your questions, his response would suggest that Congress has the unilateral power to demand answers from the President about his official acts.’
I believe the House held Eric Holder in contempt and sued the Department of Justice. Clearly, there has always been friction between the Legislative and Executive Branches.
I didn’t believe Barack Obama should have been impeached for the above then – and I don’t think President Trump should be impeached for Article Two now.
I will vote nay.
Congresswoman Dina Titus (D):
Before the impeachment results came in, Rep. Dina Titus sent the following statement to the media.
For 35 years I taught American government to university students. When we discussed impeachment, I never thought I’d actually be participating in the process, but this president has left us no choice.
He tried to rig the 2020 elections by soliciting foreign interference, and then engaged in an unprecedented cover-up once he got caught. No president can be permitted to abuse the power of the office for personal, political gain, nor try to hide his misdeeds by demanding that his subordinates withhold key documents and refuse to testify before Congress.
President Trump’s allies have offered lots of crazy excuses for why he shouldn’t be impeached, but even they will not deny that he wouldn’t have asked Ukraine to investigate Biden if the former Vice President weren’t a leading candidate for president.
I have analyzed the evidence thoroughly. It is consistent and convincing. That is why I am casting my vote to impeach President Trump.
Congresswoman Susie Lee (D):
Rep. Susie Lee (D) sent the following statement after the vote.
To my constituents,
As I promised before my vote to support an impeachment inquiry, I carefully considered and reviewed all the facts and evidence presented by the respective committees, witnesses, as well as the Constitution and the Articles of Impeachment themselves. After weighing all of the facts, I voted to impeach the President. I took an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. With this vote, I honor that solemn oath.
Based on the evidence gathered by Congress, despite systematic obstruction by the Executive branch, it’s clear the President committed two impeachable offenses: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. First, the President used the power of his office to bribe a foreign government to investigate a political rival and interfere in our upcoming election, thereby threatening our national security. As a taxpayer, it’s fair to ask why Ukrainian aid is so important to U.S. national security. The answer is this: America has a vital national security interest in countering Russian aggression. Our ally, Ukraine, is quite literally on the front lines at war with Russia. U.S. military aid is critical to Ukraine in this war. The U.S. has successfully kept foreign aggression off American soil for over two centuries. But by illegally withholding taxpayer funds to support our ally, the President set a precedent that will not only have consequences in Ukraine, but in our dealings with corrupt dictators across the globe.
Second, the President categorically and comprehensively obstructed Congress’ investigation into his conduct. Under the President’s orders, witnesses refused to testify, defied congressional subpoenas, and refused to produce relevant documents or participate at any time during the investigation. Further, he intimidated witnesses to cover up his illegal behavior by threatening to ruin their careers. The Constitution guarantees checks and balances so all three arms of government - Executive, Judicial and Legislative - have co-equal power. By blocking Congress from learning the facts, the President undermined a fundamental pillar of American democracy.
When you put the facts together, it’s clear that the President put his personal political interests above our national security, our free and fair elections, and our constitutional system of checks and balances. Democracies live and die by the integrity of our elections. We have lived in relative peace for over two centuries in the strongest democracy on earth. It is my constitutional duty to ensure it stays that way.
You have my word that I will keep working to address the problems facing Nevada families: expanding access to health care, improving our schools, lowering prescription drug prices, keeping our community safe from gun violence, and supporting our nation’s veterans. The stakes are too high to put that work on hold.
Be assured that I will never stop fighting for you and the best interests of every Nevada family. I did not come to Congress hoping to impeach our President. I fully understand the honor of serving you in Congress, and that is not a privilege I take for granted.
Thank you for placing your trust in me.
Congressman Steven Horsford (D):
Rep. Steven Horsford sent the following statement after the vote.
This decision took careful thought and consideration. When I took my oath of office, I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to serve this country. As difficult as this moment is for the country given the political divisiveness, preserving the integrity of our system for posterity is how I can best serve the interests of the people of Nevada.
It has become apparent that President Trump is a continuing threat to our democracy and danger to our national security. He abused the power of his office for personal and political gain at the expense of our national security; he conditioned official acts—millions in military aid and a White House meeting—for his personal, political gain; and he attempted to cheat our democracy and corrupt our elections. And so tonight, I voted in favor of the two articles of impeachment against President Trump. No one is above the law. Not even the President.
13 Action News will update this article as more responses come in.