Rep. Ben Cline weighs in on the ongoing impeachment inquiry
The Democratic-controlled impeachment inquiry is moving forward on Capitol Hill. Our Washington Bureau Correspondent Alana Austin tracked down Virginia Republican Congressman Ben Cline, who is demanding his colleagues across the aisle hold a full floor vote on the matter.
Meantime, many Democrats say the evidence speaks for itself.
Austin also spoke with Cline about some unique impeachment history tied to his Congressional seat. Rep. Cline’s predecessor from the 1970s, then-Rep Caldwell Butler, played a significant role in reaching the decision to vote for intent to impeach against Nixon, greatly influencing Nixon’s resignation.
“Your seat specifically played kind of a key role going back to the 70s during then-President Nixon’s impeachment process," Austin said. "You know, your predecessor at the time, then-Congressman Butler, ended up deciding that he had an intent to impeach the President at that time, do you feel like your seat is going to play a historic role in this process now in 2019?”
“Well a Virginian has been on the Judiciary committee for many, many years," said Cline. "My predecessor, Bob Goodlatte, was chairman of the Judiciary committee and Caldwell Butler was a representative from the Roanoke area who got all the information and made a choice, and I don’t have any of the information because this process has been so stacked that the majority is running roughshod over the rights of not only the President, but of the minority here in the House of Representatives and the representatives’ people.”
"And so now, they've taken it away from Judiciary, given it Intelligence and taken it behind closed doors, which is unfair to us who sit on the judiciary committee, but also to the American people," Cline continued.
"Some of the critics of the President have said that whether this was legal or illegal, his actions reaching out to Ukraine and other foreign leaders saying, 'I want information on a potential political rival, on Joe Biden and his family,' is some type of an unethical act and crosses a line. What do you make of that?" asked Austin.
"Well, I would like to see the transcripts of the testimony of the witnesses at these hearings, but they're not allowing us even to view the full transcripts of people like Volker, who have testified," said Cline. "And we are hearing that there's exculpatory evidence as well as other types of testimony, and I haven't seen any of it, and we're not being allowed into the committee room to hear it. So it's very frustrating for me and for my constituents."
"Speaking of kind of the next steps and how Virginians may be viewing this, how do you think that this process is going to impact the upcoming elections in 2019, and then heading into 2020?" asked Austin.
"Well, that's a big part of it is that we have presidential election coming up and this Speaker thinks so much of herself and of the Democrats that they want to get in the way of the voters expressing their will at the ballot box by removing this president," said Cline. "They want to undo the last election, and then get in the way talk about election so talk about election interference. This speaker is taking charge to interfere in the next election."
You can watch Cline's full interview in the video player above.