Tennessee’s only two Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, Reps Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Jim Cooper (TN-05), have announced their decisions to support the two Articles of Impeachment against President Trump, introduced in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
Both Cohen and Cooper represent safely Democratic districts. Cohen represents Memphis, while Cooper represents Nashville.
The remaining seven members of the Tennessee Congressional delegation are all Republicans, and are all strongly behind the president.
Cooper’s announcement came on Tuesday, while Cohen’s came on Wednesday night as members of the House Judiciary Commitee debated articles of impeachment. During that hearing, Cohen, who sits on that committee, declared President Donald Trump used his office “for personal political gain.”
“When President Trump, for his own personal political gain, asked for a favor from a foreign leader, he did exactly what our Founders feared most — he invited the influence of a foreign power into our elections. This is one of the primary reasons the Founders placed impeachment in our Constitution.
Trump’s subversive and illegal actions in seeking foreign interference is an insult to the “Constitution and to free and fair elections,” according to Cohen. Furthermore, the representative believes Trump’s “attempt to subvert our elections” was an “attack on America.”
“We the people’s house has an oath of office and to be a check on a president who abuses his power, betrays his oath and corrupts our election. Those who want to turn a blind eye to President Trump corrupting our democracy will try to get us to look away,” Cohen said.
“We should not look away, I will not look away. I remember our founders’ great plan for our great nation and I will remember the rule of law. Above all, I will adhere to my oath of office,” he concluded.
Cooper, who initially claimed to be undecided on impeachment the inquiry was first announced in October, now says he fully supports the impeachment charges against the president.
In his statement released on Tuesday, Cooper alleged President Trump “intentionally harmed America” in his July 2019 call with the president of Ukraine:
I will vote for the Articles of Impeachment against President Trump. Once again, the President has intentionally harmed America, this time by disregarding the law and interfering with U.S. aid to fight our enemy – Russia – against tanks that are invading Ukraine, already causing 13,000 casualties. When caught, the President obstructed justice by ordering others to hide the truth. Several of the President’s top advisors have already been convicted of other criminal activity and his own former chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, warned the President that he would likely be impeached if he did not change his ways. While Congress has carried out its constitutional duty to find the truth, the President has repeatedly obstructed its efforts.
The Senate should now hold a trial on these charges. I just hope there are enough senators like Tennessee’s own Howard Baker who simply and bravely asked during the Watergate scandal, ‘What did the President know, and when did he know it?’”
“Obstruction of justice” is not one of the two Articles of Impeachment under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee. One article is for “obstruction of Congress,” while the other is for “abuse of power.”
In his statement, Cooper did not address the “abuse of power” allegations against the president and only tangentially mentioned “obstruction of Congress.”
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