POCATELLO — Congressmen Mike Simpson explained his case against impeaching President Donald Trump following a press conference Thursday.
He called the effort to impeach Trump “a sham” and said he thought the accusations brought against the president didn’t rise to the level of impeachable offenses.
“Abuse of power is so broad,” Simpson said. “There is no underlying crime in the articles of impeachment. I don’t think they made their case.”
Simpson said he worried that the articles of impeachment had set the bar so low that it will become a regular occurrence any time there’s divided government. Simpson, who called Trump unfit for office in 2016 after the Access Hollywood tape was released, said he remains critical of Trump’s behavior — but not his policies.
“I have critical words about the tweeting,” Simpson said. “But it’s hard to argue with the results he’s had.”
Simpson pointed to big tax cuts and deregulation as positives, though he objected to recent behavior from the Trump campaign.
“He calls (House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry) Nadler a scumbag,” Simpson said, referring to tweets made by former Trump campaign aide Jason Miller (and editing out the profanity). “That doesn’t help. I don’t think you call people that.”
At a moment of intense national division, will Americans ever feel like they’re on the same team again? Simpson thinks so, but the path to that outcome is unclear.
“I hope so, and I believe so,” Simpson said. “This is a pendulum that swings. Right now we’re out here where it’s very divisive, but it will swing back again. Sometimes there’s an event that causes that to happen — 9/11 caused it to happen, and we certainly don’t want to have to go through that in order to get us together again. But I believe a majority will come together again.”
For his part, Simpson expressed positive feelings toward House Democrats.
“They’re good people,” he said. “They’re representing different constituencies than I have. If Nancy Pelosi ran in my district, she’d get 5 percent of the vote. And if I ran in her district, I’d get 5 percent. But people expect us to come together and solve problems.”
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