Rep. Golden to support impeachment for abuse of power

December 17, 2019 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine said Tuesday he’ll vote in favor of one of the two articles of impeachment against Republican President Donald Trump, concluding the president abused his power by soliciting a foreign government to investigate a political rival.

Trump, his personal attorney and members of the administration showed “corrupt intent” to leverage the power of the presidency to strengthen his reelection bid by enlisting aid from a foreign government, Golden said.

“The president’s actions are a realization of the framers’ greatest fears: foreign corruption of our electoral process, and a president willing to leverage the powers of his office to benefit his own reelection,” he said in a statement.

But Golden said he won’t support an article of impeachment alleging obstruction of Congress, noting that the House did not attempt to enforce subpoenas for key witnesses close to the president. He said the House should’ve gone to the courts, if necessary, to compel testimony.

“The president’s resistance toward our investigative efforts has been frustrating. It has not yet, in my view, reached the threshold of ‘high crime or misdemeanor,’ that the Constitution demands,” he said.

Maine’s other House member, Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree, already said she’d support both articles of impeachment.

Golden made his announcement Tuesday on the eve of an anticipated vote on articles of impeachment by the full House.

The freshman congressman has been under pressure from both sides. Trump won the 2nd Congressional District by a 10-point margin in the 2016 election, and three Republicans vying for the opportunity to run against Golden in 2020 all have urged him to support the president.

He said he struggled for days on his decision. He said that in the end he ignored the political implications. “I can’t think about the politics of it,” he told reporters after the statement was released.

The Republican National Committee attacked Golden’s decision, saying he was trying to have it both ways.

“Jared Golden is trying to have his cake and eat it too, but voters in Maine know that he is choosing (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats’ unhinged caucus over his constituents,” said RNC spokeswoman Nina McLaughlin.

Trump on Tuesday accused Democrats of “perversion of justice and abuse of power” in their effort to remove him from office. He attacked the House process in a letter to Pelosi, writing that “more due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”