Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, announced Friday morning that she plans to vote against impeaching President Donald Trump.
In a statement posted to her social media channels, the congresswoman said she opposed both articles of impeachment drafted by the House Judiciary Committee — one article focuses on abuse of power, and the other on obstruction of Congress.
“The obstruction of Congress article is the least credible of the two,” Herrera Beutler wrote. “No one at the White House has defied a court order.”
She went on to say that the White House disagreed with Congress’ right to compel testimony from some officials in the president’s inner circle, and so sought a judicial review of the subpoenas. That articles of impeachment were drawn up before that process could be completed, Herrera Beutler said, is the fault of the investigation, not the president.
“The rushed timeline for this process set by House Democratic leadership is irrelevant, and the White House asking a court to settle a dispute is not an impeachable act,” Herrera Beutler wrote.
She also opposes the article of impeachment charging the president with abuse of power, arguing that Congress lacks firsthand testimony of Trump’s conduct, again tying that hole in the case to a rushed timeline.
“House committee chairs were unwilling to press the subpoenas on witnesses who could have provided firsthand accounts of the president’s actions, and instead relied on witnesses who’d never even met the president, could only provide secondhand testimony, and offered assumptions based on what they say they heard from other White House officials and Rudy Giuliani — not the president,” Herrera Beutler wrote.
“Aid to Ukraine was delayed but then later provided prior to the statutory deadline. The Ukrainian president says he was not pressured, Ukraine did not announce or open an investigation, and the country received its aid. The president’s motives for his actions remain unproven. I will not vote to impeach based on hearsay testimony from secondhand sources — to do so diminishes impeachment to a mere political disagreement.”
Until now Herrera Beutler has been tight-lipped on her opinion of the impeachment inquiry, rebuffing repeated requests for comment though a spokesperson who declined to “give a play-by-play as events unfold.”
Friday’s statement marks the congresswoman’s first substantive comment on the impeachment hearings since Oct. 31, when she voted against opening the inquiry and called it “a farce.”