With little to do in Dem-led House, Texas GOP focus on disrupting impeachment inquiry

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As Democrats move forward with an impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, House GOP members from Texas are doing what they can to stifle the investigation.

Rep. Mike Conaway, the leading Texas member on the House Intelligence Committee that oversees the investigation, has been busy echoing calls from the White House complaining that Democrats have broken historical precedence by not holding a chamber-wide vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would allow the investigation to continue and hold off an official vote to begin the impeachment inquiry in Congress. “There’s no requirement that we have a vote, and so at this time we will not be having a vote,” Pelosi said.

Rep. John Ratcliffe, another Texan on the Intelligence Committee, has been trying to remove the investigation from the leadership of Rep. Adam Schiff and, remarkably, has gone on record to support “the administration’s refusal to tolerate or participate” in the investigation– the same type of refusal (like ignoring subpoenas) that was the focus of the impeachment inquiry against President Nixon. Ratcliffe is also a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, one of the six committees investigating Trump’s conduct and the committee that is historically responsible for drafting the articles of impeachment.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a right-wing Republican and member of the Freedom Caucus, also plays a major role in the House Judiciary Committee as its leading Texas member after Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston). Echoing Trump’s civil war rhetoric, Gohmert recently parroted the White House line: impeachment is really a “coup.” 

Texas’ two senators

When and if an impeachment inquiry makes its way to the Senate, Sen. John Cornyn has already made it clear he plans to stick with the president. He has been recently complaining that the inquiry has made it difficult to pass bipartisan legislation, a good joke considering several hundred bills are currently sitting on the desk of his Senate leader, Mitch McConnell. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz recently condemned Trump for asking China to investigate the Bidens. True to form though, he also made it clear he believes allegations of a quid pro quo with Trump and Ukraine are unfounded, apparently unphased by the fact that a sitting president facing a tough re-election has asked two foreign countries to investigate his frontrunner opponent.

Support for the president’s removal from office has steadily ticked up since late September when a number of bombshell reports– and a transcript released by the White House on its own volition– pointed to the president’s unethical and abusive behavior.

As of this week, more than half of Americans support the inquiry according to the latest aggregate of impeachment polls by RealClearPolitics that includes a poll by the Washington Post showing a jaw-dropping 57 percent of Americans support the Democratic investigation.  

Photo: Loren Elliott/Getty Images

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