September 24, 2019

San Diego delegation, candidates, break along party lines about impeachment inquiry

Members of the San Diego delegation began to embrace or reject the plan for a presidential impeachment inquiry along party lines.

Democratic Reps. Juan Vargas and Mike Levin quickly issued statements following Pelosi’s announcement to express support for the inquiry, saying the probe is necessary to uphold the rule of law.

“I called for an impeachment inquiry months ago, and now I believe more than ever that the House must formally launch impeachment proceedings against the President,” said Levin in a statement. “If the whistleblower allegations are confirmed, the President has undermined the rule of law and our national security, and he must be held to account.”

“I agree with Speaker Pelosi, ‘No one is above the law,’” Vargas said. “The President’s attempts to obstruct justice and disrupt our democracy have left Congress with no other option than to pursue impeachment.”

Rep. Scott Peters, a San Diego Democrat who backed beginning an impeachment inquiry in June after the Mueller report citing10 possible instances of the president obstructing justice, emphasized the need for Congress to uphold its constitutional duty.

“Reports that the president pushed Ukraine to investigate a political rival and withheld congressionally approved aid are shocking,” said Peters in a statement. “Congress must exercise our oversight duty. We must pursue an impeachment inquiry.”

Meanwhile Rep. Susan Davis, the only Democratic member of San Diego’s delegation who until now had not backed an inquiry, was among the first to release a statement in support of the probe Tuesday.

She said the president’s actions surrounding the Ukraine epitomize Trump’s disregard for checks and balances and add to a growing list of illegal acts and abuses of power that show the president “does not have either the capacity or the interest to follow the rule of law.”

She also called on her Republican colleagues to take action.

“It has always been my approach to be as deliberate as possible when facing issues of this importance, especially when looking for unity from across the aisle,” Davis said in a statement. “I call on my Republican colleagues, especially those who have privately expressed exasperation with the President, to join with Democrats and protect the integrity of the office of the Presidency and our democracy.

Considering the threat to our national interest and national security, I would think my Republican colleagues would be natural allies.”

On the other side of the aisle, Republicans were quick to dismiss the impeachment inquiry.

The San Diego delegation’s lone Republican member, Alpine Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, decried the inquiry as a waste of time and an attempt to “score political points.”

“Democrats have been searching and investigating and pontificating impeachment since the day President Trump was elected, not based on any evidence or facts, but based purely on an ongoing, dogmatic desire to stifle this President and his agenda,” Hunter said. “Democrats know that the Senate will not convict this President, but they continue to pursue impeachment for the simple political purpose of being able to claim he was impeached.”

President Donald Trump waves as he walks down the stairs to Air Force One after arriving at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, September 18, 2019, in San Diego for a fundraiser, roundtable discussion and a trip to the border wall in Otay Mesa that separates San Diego from Tijuana, Mexico.(Howard Lipin/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Republican congressional candidates in San Diego County struck a similar tune. Some seized on the issue to try to generate campaign donations or to attack their opponents.

Brian Maryott, the San Juan Capistrano candidate challenging Levin in the Northern San Diego-Southern Orange County 49th Congressional District, criticized the inquiry as all “political games” with “no solutions.”

“Speaker Pelosi’s political stunt today is nothing more than an attempt to distract Americans from the inefficient and broken House of Representatives under Democratic control,” Maryott said in a statement. “Extreme leftists like Mike Levin have been calling for impeachment for months instead of actually working on the real problems facing Americans.”

Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego City Councilman challenging fellow Republican Hunter in East County’s 50th District, criticized the probe as a waste of time and energy and a distraction from solving important problems.

“Nancy Pelosi knows this absurd impeachment inquiry is going absolutely nowhere, but she’s content to turning the People’s House into an arm of the Democrats’ campaign to win back the White House,” DeMaio said in a statement. “If anyone is abusing power, it is Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats — and I urge the American People to hold them accountable and return Congress’ focus to the issues that matter to working families by giving the majority back to House Republicans in this next election.”

Source: The San Diego Union Tribune; By Charles T. Clark