CORRECTION: This story has been changed to reflect the correct byline(author) of the story and to indicate that quid pro quo on the president's call to the Ukrainian president is an allegation.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa voted along party lines on a resolution setting the rules for public impeachment hearings against Republican President Donald Trump on Thursday, following a national trend of Democratic support and Republican opposition.
The House vote was 232-196. Rules set through the resolution outline procedures for public hearings and put a final impeachment recommendation in the hands of the House Judiciary Committee, which Democrats control. Republicans say the scheduled process will be unfair and breaks with precedent.
Impeachment proceedings have gained steam in recent weeks after questions arose over a July 25 phone call during which impeachment supporters allege Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. In a pair of tweets Thursday morning, Trump again condemned the move as the “Greatest Witch Hunt in American History.”
Democratic Reps. Dave Loebsack, Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer, voted in favor. Rep. Steve King, the lone Republican representing Iowa in the U.S. House, voted against.
In a statement, Loebsack called Thursday “a solemn day in the history of the U.S. House” but added that the House must move forward “because of the serious allegations against the President.”
Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann took aim at the Iowa Democrats, criticizing them for siding with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “and the delusional Democrats by voting to proceed with the far-left’s latest witch hunt.
“With this vote, Democrats have put the final nail in the coffin of their re-election efforts in Iowa’s pro-Trump districts,” he said in a statement.
Here are some of the statements from House members representing Iowa:
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Rep. Abby Finkenauer (IA-1)
“With the new information and testimony coming out, it only reinforces the concerns around President Trump’s conduct. We are now seeing more evidence that draws a clearer picture showing the president may have jeopardized national security for his own personal gain. It is important that Congress, and the American people, have more opportunities to learn the facts and understand the full scope of the president’s actions," Finkenauer said in a statement. "The ground rules laid out in today’s resolution will make testimony and facts public. It will also give President Trump a more than fair opportunity to defend his actions, going beyond other modern impeachment proceedings. I continue to support the investigations of the congressional committees looking into this matter, and will always stand by and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Rep. Dave Loebsack (IA-2)
“Today is a solemn day in the history of the U.S. House, but because of the serious allegations against the President, the House must continue its due diligence and move this investigation forward," Loebsack said in a statement. "Today’s vote was a necessary step to move to the next stage of the investigation and get all the facts out in the open for the American people to see and make their own judgment. I continue to hold out hope that the administration will end its stonewalling to ensure Congress and the American people are able to follow the evidence where it may lead.”
Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-3)
“I’ve heard from Iowans across my district, and people on all sides want to get to the bottom of what happened in an open transparent process that follows the law. That’s what I voted for today—a path forward for fair hearings that are open to the public and will give the American people the facts they deserve,” Axne said in a statement. “I came to Congress to work for the middle class--getting people better health care and better-paying jobs while making the federal government more accountable. That work remains my number one priority. While the investigation continues, I will continue to work on lowering health care and drug costs, increasing access to job training programs, and helping people affected by natural disasters in Iowa.”
Rep. Steve King (IA-4)
“Today is Halloween, and the hyper-partisan, impeach-at-all-costs, Democratic majority in the House has just played a Halloween impeachment trick on all of America,” King said in a statement. “I reject the Democrats’ efforts to legitimize this sham impeachment process, and all Americans should be concerned that the person most empowered by the House impeachment resolution voted on today is Rep. Adam Schiff, a man who just faced a censure effort based on his efforts to deceive the American public on this subject, and who has just had an ethics complaint filed against him as well. President Trump is correct to describe this a witch hunt, and the President’s phrase takes on added significance with the actions of the Democrats in the House today.”