A veteran Republican congressman is citing his experience in office during impeachment proceedings against former President Bill Clinton as a reason he should take over a powerful committee position if Democrats attempt to file charges against Donald Trump next year.
Representative Steve Chabot of Ohio is angling for the top spot on the House Judiciary Committee that will be vacated following Bob Goodlatte’s retirement, according to Politico. Chabot served as House floor manager in 1998 when articles of impeachment were filed against Clinton, and he’s hyping his experience in such delicate and rare potential proceedings.
“There are very few that have gone through it,” Chabot told Politico. “You can imagine it. You can think what it might be like. But if you’ve actually been there, it’s certainly an advantage. It also makes one understand why that’s to be avoided, if at all possible.”
Chabot is up against Representative Doug Collins of Georgia for the position.
Democrats are hoping to take back the House in the fall, with some basing their campaigns on bringing charges against Trump and eventually removing him from office. For that to happen, the House would have to file and pass articles of impeachment against the president, after which the Senate would hold a trial and convict him.
Those articles would first run through the Judiciary Committee, and Chabot explained that he had the “right temperament to head up” the committee in a “bipartisan” way.
Victoria Cummock, widow of Pan Am 103 victim John Cummock, speaks during a March 1, 2011, news conference as victim Melina Hudson’s father, Paul Hudson, right, and U.S. Representative Steve Chabot look on. Chabot was the House floor manager during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998 and is now hoping to head the House Judiciary Committee. Getty Images/Alex Wong
High-ranking Democrats, like House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, have said the party should focus on what it can do for American workers and the economy overall, rather than simply running on Trump’s ouster. Recently, Pelosi decried potential impeachment as a “gift” to Republicans.
But speculation about Democrats’ intentions increased in December when they elected Jerry Nadler to serve as the minority leader on the House Judiciary Committee. A New York native, Nadler has long been considered an expert on constitutional law. Should Democrats win the House in November, Nadler would assume the ranking chairman position and could lead the first charge toward a Trump impeachment.
However, Nadler told MSNBC earlier this year that impeachment should not go through unless actual “evidence arises.”
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