While the U.S. House Rules Committee worked Tuesday to prepare for Wednesday’s floor vote on the articles of impeachment, House members were determining how they will vote. Vermont Congressman Peter Welch will support the impeachment of President Trump. The Democrat held a telephone Town Hall Monday evening to explain why and take questions from constituents.
Democratic Vermont at-large Representative Peter Welch, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, began his Town Hall by telling callers that he has posted information on the history and process of impeachment along with documents related to the current proceedings on his website.
He called impeachment an extremely consequential authority vested in the House of Representatives by the Constitution that is essential to hold any president accountable. Welch says despite the partisan sniping, it’s clear the president has violated his Constitutional oath of office. “The evidence that President Trump did this is incontrovertible. And in fact, in the committee hearings that I've been part of, none of my colleagues have challenged that. The second question is the separation of powers. President Trump has repudiated that the Congress has any authority whatsoever to do the investigation, making him completely beyond accountability.”
Constituents during the hour-long call presented a variety of questions from process to the politics of impeachment. David in Websterville told Congressman Welch there should be more than two articles of impeachment. “There's been so many hearings and all that stuff it just seems to me that to come down to this being just two articles of impeachment doesn't that seem a little weak?”
Welch: “Well I would have supported obstruction charges that were in the Mueller Report. There was an immense amount of evidence. The most clear violation is what the President did to leverage assistance from Ukraine on his reelection. The evidence were the President's own words. I could have supported more but I think there's some wisdom in the decision that they made. Our next question comes from Cyrus in Monkton.”
Cyrus: “I was curious why you're interested in supporting a party that's going to divide the country so deeply. Why would you want to participate in possibly a revolutionary war?”
Welch: “It's a fair question and you're reflecting the reservations I've had on using the impeachment authority that Congress has in the Constitution. And, in fact, a number of, there's been a long discussion here about using the impeachment authority. The real tipping point, including for many of my colleagues, was the revelation of President Trump's effort to get Ukraine to help him in his 2020 campaign. Our next question comes from Pat in Rutland.”
Pat: “Congressman Welch, if he's not impeached, what happens?”
Welch: “Well we don't know what's going to happen. I mean, I expect that the House will vote, unfortunately on partisan lines, and there's not been any indication from my Republican counterparts in the Senate that they are open to hearing more evidence. But the bottom line here, if this impeachment goes through the House and doesn't in the Senate, then there's going to be an election coming up and ultimately it'll be the American voters that have the final say about our future.”
Congressman Welch’s full Town Hall on impeachment can be heard here: