Government

House Democrat Finkenauer not joining call for Trump's impeachment - yet

Representing Iowa's 1st District, Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer speaks following a question during a town hall meeting with constituents on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. (Ben Roberts/Freelance)
Representing Iowa's 1st District, Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer speaks following a question during a town hall meeting with constituents on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. (Ben Roberts/Freelance)

CEDAR RAPIDS — U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer is not lending her voice to the growing chorus of House Democrats calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump — yet.

However, the freshman Democrat believes Trump has defied and disrespected Congress by preventing members of his administration from testifying before House committees. The president’s blanket refusal to comply with requests from six House committees along with Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel Donald McGahn declining to testify have raised the frustration level of representatives, Finkenauer said in a phone interview Wednesday.

“That’s concerning,” she said. “You have an administration that has defied the authority of Congress and disrespected the authority of Congress to issue those subpoenas and have those folks testify.”

Finkenauer expects House leadership and committee chairs to press the Trump administration to allow officials to testify.

“We need to be taking our role very seriously as a coequal branch of government,” she said.

However, Sen. Chuck Grassley said Wednesday it’s time for Democrats to move on. Although special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the president found no collusion with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign, he said, “Democrats just can’t give up, so that’s why we’re going through all of this.”

“They were disappointed and want to keep the issue alive,” he told reporters.

There’s a difference between impeachment for legal and constitutional reasons, such as the cases of Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, and impeachment for political purposes in the case of Trump, Grassley said.

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In the latter case, the president is correct that Democrats run the risk of “weakening the whole system of government,” Grassley added.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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