Rep. French Hill: Why I voted NO on impeaching the president
Washington, December 18, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Congressmen French Hill (AR-02) released the following statement after voting against two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump:
I know that there are some Americans who disagree with the president–some on style, some on substance, and for some, both. With that said, as in any human endeavor, over the course of two centuries a terrific number of American citizens have voiced their vigorous opposition and protested many of our nation’s chief executives.
However, the power of impeachment is a solemn one. This power is vested in the legislative branch to remove the nationally elected leader of our beloved country for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. This power is not to be used simply as a tool to harass a president of the opposite party. Unfortunately, history tells us that down through the years, it has.
The case for impeachment that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has concocted is not overwhelming and not supported by even the selected leaks and one-sided testimony.
Chairman Schiff argues that in the July 25th phone call with the Ukrainian President Zelensky, President Trump abused his power by interfering in the 2020 election and then obstructed Congress during its impeachment inquiry.
As background, I've read the public testimony, I’ve read the Schiff report, and I’ve read the Republican minority rebuttal. I've also read the “Support the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act” signed into law in 2014 by President Obama, which ordered the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to “identify, secure, and recover assets linked to acts of corruption by Victor Yanukovych, members of his family, or other former or current officials of the government of Ukraine or their accomplices…."
I reviewed the articles of impeachment for both President Nixon and President Clinton and reviewed the Congressional process, under which both inquiries were pursued. In addition to unsubstantiated charges brought by Chairman Schiff and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, Speaker Pelosi has presided over an unfair process.
At the conclusion of the House Judiciary Committee's debate regarding the articles of impeachment, the Congress concluded where we began in September:
1.) The House majority so disagrees with President Trump that they have convinced themselves that only impeachment is the proper punishment–despite failing the “Pelosi Test” she established in March.
2.) The following facts remain regarding the congratulatory phone call between President Trump and the recently elected Ukrainian reformer, President Zelensky, on July 25th:
I believe that reasonable people can disagree. In my view, Speaker Pelosi should have directed the House Foreign Affairs Committee to conduct vigorous oversight hearings on the Trump Administration's foreign policy towards Ukraine. This would have been the better course of action to explore partisan policy disagreements as well as those voiced by career State Department officials.