Congressman Kurt Schrader (Courtesy/Wikimedia Commons)
Citing a “great risk” to the country, Congressman Kurt Schrader, a Democrat who represents the Salem area, said it’s time to impeach President Donald Trump.
Schrader’s announcement, which came in the form of a statement, followed the House Judiciary Committee issuing two articles of impeachment that could be voted on by the full House later this month.
The release of the articles follows a series of caustic congressional hearings into charges that Trump withheld military aid and access to the White House in order to pressure the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 election.
The first article alleges that the president committed an “Abuse of Power” by using his office to obtain a personal benefit at the expense of United States’ national security interests and election integrity. The second article alleges that Trump then committed “Obstruction of Congress” by refusing to provide documents or witnesses during the U.S. House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment investigation.
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The House Judiciary Committee (which Schrader is not a member of) could vote on the articles of impeachment later this week.
“No President, Republican, or Democrat has so completely defied lawfully issued subpoenas by Congress in its constitutional duty as President Trump,” said Schrader in the statement. “Our Founders put Congress, not the President, in charge of this country.”
In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into allegations that Trump sought to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open a corruption investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender in the 2020 presidential race.
In his statement, Schrader cited a transcript of a July phone call that he said reveals Trump asking Zelensky “for a favor that would directly benefit him in an American political election.”
“That is illegal,” said Schrader, who cited laws that require the president and members of Congress to keep discussions of their elections separate from their official roles. “The details of the call and his actions for his own political benefit were corroborated by numerous Administration officials, both career and recent political appointees.”
The three other Democrats in Oregon’s congressional delegation, as well as its two Democratic senators, previously voiced support for the impeachment inquiry. Rep. Greg Walden, the sole Republican in Oregon’s congressional delegation, has criticized the process.
Schrader was the only member of Oregon’s congressional delegation to issue a statement in response to the articles of impeachment. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D- Portland, took to Twitter to reiterate his support.
Democrats gained control of the House in 2018 by winning districts carried by Trump in 2016. House Democrats have proceeded cautiously with the impeachment inquiry out of fears that the effort could backfire with voters in moderate and conservative-leaning districts.
Schrader was first elected to the seat in 2008, representing a district stretching from the coast to Portland’s southern suburbs. Schrader has styled himself as a centrist and is a member of both the Blue Dog and New Democrat coalitions, as well as the No Labels Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. He was most recently reelected in 2018 with 55 percent of the vote. In 2016, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried the district.
Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or [email protected] or @jakethomas2009.