Maloney says Trump’s conduct “left us no alternative” to impeachment (updated)

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney said Tuesday that President Trump’s misuse of military aid for his own political benefit and his obstruction of “lawful investigations of his misconduct” had left Congress no choice but to impeach him as a way of holding him accountable.

In a statement after the release of the House Intelligence Committee’s report on its impeachment hearings, the Cold Spring Democrat expressed respect for people who “hoped for better from this president” and were skeptical of the unfolding impeachment process, but said he believed the evidence and history will vindicate that course. Maloney serves on the Intelligence Committee and participated in that panel’s televised questioning of government officials for five days about Trump’s suspension of military assistance to Ukraine and two investigations he wanted that country’s president to announce.

Here’s Maloney’s full statement:

“The evidence is as clear as it is heartbreaking: President Trump misused taxpayer-funded military assistance to pressure a foreign government for help with his re-election campaign. He did so over months with a reckless disregard for our national security and that of a key European partner currently at war with Russia. He has obstructed lawful investigations of his misconduct and repeatedly and knowingly lied to the public.

“I have had a high bar for impeachment. But the President’s conduct has left us no alternative. If we are to be faithful to the people we serve and the oath we take to the Constitution, we must hold this president or any president accountable for such misconduct.

“I respect those who hoped for better from this president, and who remain skeptical of this constitutional process. It is precisely because of this respect, not in spite of it, that I will act in the best interests of our country. I am confident that over time, and in the light of history, the facts and the evidence compelling these actions will create a broad understanding of their necessity.

“I thank the brave national security professionals and career foreign service and military officers who did the right thing by testifying before the Committee and the American public.”

Update:

Chele Chiavacci Farley, the Republican planning to challenge Maloney in 2020 for New York’s 18th Congressional District seat, issued a statement Tuesday night condemning the “divisive and unproductive” impeachment hearings and the party-line vote on the Intelligence Committee’s report, a split that she said showed no “clear mandate to remove a sitting President with less than a year before the next election.”

“Democrats continue to waste millions of dollars and relentlessly pursue any path they can to continue to fracture our nation, in their brazen attempts to overturn an election, and invalidate the votes of millions of Americans,” Farley said.

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