AP NEWS

James: Impeachment about ‘revenge’; Peters to look at facts

December 19, 2019 GMT
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FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2019, file photo, Ranking Member Sen. Gary Peters., D-Mich., questions Homeland Security Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis David Glawe, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and National Counterterrorism Center Acting Director Russell Travers as they testify before a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Peters, a freshman up for re-election in a crucial 2020 battleground, has not said how he will vote on removing Trump from office. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
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FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2019, file photo, Ranking Member Sen. Gary Peters., D-Mich., questions Homeland Security Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis David Glawe, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and National Counterterrorism Center Acting Director Russell Travers as they testify before a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Peters, a freshman up for re-election in a crucial 2020 battleground, has not said how he will vote on removing Trump from office. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican U.S. Senate candidate John James said Wednesday that he opposes the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

“While this is not a question that I will face in the Senate, I will tell you. This impeachment is not about the rule of law, it is about revenge,” James said in a written statement in response to an inquiry from The Associated Press before the votes in the Democratic-led House. “In the Senate, I would demand Congress stop working against each other and start working for the people on issues like trade, health care and immigration. This is a sad day in American history.”

James, a businessman and Iraq War veteran, is challenging Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan for a seat in the Senate. The GOP has the majority in that chamber and is expected to acquit Trump in a trial next year.

Peters, a freshman up for re-election in a crucial 2020 battleground, has not said how he will vote on removing Trump from office.

“I swore an oath to defend the Constitution as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and when I became U.S. senator — and I will fulfill my constitutional responsibility in the Senate,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. “Abuse of office and obstruction of Congress are very serious charges that deserve solemn consideration. We must have a fair and nonpartisan process, and I will thoroughly evaluate the facts that are presented to the Senate.”

Peters said his focus on the people of Michigan will remain “steadfast.” He cited actions such as passing legislation that would lower prescription drug prices, expanding vocational training program, and backing efforts to protect the Great Lakes and drinking water.

Trump held a rally in Battle Creek on Wednesday night as the House voted to impeach him on a charge that he abused the power of his office by enlisting Ukraine to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election. The House also approved a second charge, that he obstructed Congress in its investigation.

James spoke to the crowd before Trump’s arrival.

Of Michigan’s 14 House members, seven Democrats supported impeachment and six Republicans opposed it. Rep. Justin Amash, an independent who left the GOP after backing the impeachment inquiry, voted to impeach.

Michigan’s senior senator, Democrat Debbie Stabenow, said after the House votes that she will approach the trial “with great seriousness and a heavy heart. ... The fact is, we are where we are because of the actions of President Trump. His behavior and abuse of power have forced the hand of everyone who cares deeply about our country, the truth and the integrity of our democracy.”

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