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Horsford on why he's backing impeachment probe

Horsford speaks on why he's backing impeachment probe (File | KSNV)
Horsford speaks on why he's backing impeachment probe (File | KSNV)
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Congressman Steven Horsford is one of many congressional Democrats who jumped on the impeachment train slowly.

"I have been one who was reluctant to call for an impeachment inquiry until [Tuesday]," he told us from Washington during our regular congressional conversation called "Connect to Congress."

For Horsford, the game changed Tuesday following reports President Trump over the summer asked the head of a foreign country - Ukraine - to investigate a man he may face in the 2020 election: Joe Biden.

The news so alarmed a member of the intelligence community that they filed a whistleblower complaint against the president, which the administration has been reluctant to share with Congress, which triggered Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry.

Horsford, referring to Trump, told News 3, “He violated his oath and put our national security at risk by asking a foreign country, in this case, Ukraine, to intervene and to dig up dirt on a political opponent.”

“Now, Congress has no other choice but to demand that the whistleblower report, which is supposed to be provided to the Intel [Intelligence] Committee by law, be made available in its entirety and that we pursue all the other evidence as necessary in order to protect our democratic values and institutions,” says Horsford.

RELATED | Washington plunges into impeachment probe into Trump

Axios reported Wednesday that the whistleblower report has been released to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

Horsford is in his second non-consecutive term representing Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, geographically one of the largest in the nation, spanning North Las Vegas and much of rural Nevada. Tuesday, he and Rep. Susie Lee, the Democrat who represents Nevada’s third district, said they support an impeachment inquiry. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nevada, indicated her support over the summer.

President Trump has argued Biden, when he was vice president, took actions to help Biden’s son, who was doing business in Ukraine. There’s no evidence that happened.

Trump says he did nothing improper and was only trying to uncover potential corruption.

The impeachment process, begun by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, now moves this way: The six House committees currently investigating Trump will send their findings to the House Judiciary Committee, which will decide whether to send articles of impeachment - those are charges - for a vote before the full Democratic-controlled House.

It would take a majority vote of the House to impeach the president, which would send the charges to the Senate, where the trial would happen.

RELATED | Lawmakers, staff view secret Trump whistleblower complaint

It would take two-thirds of the Republican-controlled Senate to remove Trump, which is highly unlikely, say local voters, like a man we met Tuesday in Henderson. He did not give me his name.

“So what's the point, and then it may give him ammunition and say he's being picked on,” the gentleman said.

Which is the risk for Democrats: if Trump is not removed, it could leave him stronger, not weaker. Senate Republicans face risks, too – especially those in difficult 2020 races – forced to choose between a President and their political future.

According to the New York Times, there’s no constitutional mechanism to force a Senate trial, which leaves open the possibility Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, could refuse to convene one, sparing his members the uncomfortable prospect of casting a vote.

For Horsford, this is more than pure politics.

“Look, this is a very serious time in our country. It's a very serious moment,” he said.

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It lands in a nation already divided, heading into an election that was already going to be brutal.

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