Las Vegas Sun

October 16, 2019

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Nevada congressional delegation remains mostly on hold on Trump impeachment calls

Rape Crisis Center Ribbon Cutting

Wade Vandervort

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus is the lone member of the Nevada congressional delegation, so far, to call for the House to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. TItus is pictured Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, speaking at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Rape Crisis Center in Las Vegas.

As many Democrats nationally continue to call for the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, Nevada’s Democratically heavy congressional delegation, with one exception, has been tepid in its support for the move.

Some 120 congressional Democrats — more than half of the House caucus — have indicated their support of starting impeachment proceedings against Trump, according to CNN.

Rep. Dina Titus is the sole congressional Democrat from Nevada to explicitly call for an impeachment inquiry, though other Nevadans in Congress are leaving the option on the table.

Here’s where the six members of Nevada’s delegation stand on the issue.

Dina Titus

Titus, who represents the 1st Congressional District — the most staunchly Democratic district in the state — announced her support of an impeachment inquiry last month. Titus, who also chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee, also said the investigation she’s leading into Trump’s Washington hotel would intensify when the House reconvenes from its August break.

“My decision isn’t based on my disagreements with the president’s policies or my disapproval of his temperament, though I have both,” she said in a statement. “I’m calling for an impeachment inquiry because of the mounting evidence that Donald Trump has repeatedly broken the law to protect his own interests.”

In her announcement, Titus criticized Trump for not fully divesting from his business interests — a potential violation of the emoluments clause, which prohibits taking money from foreign interests — and for “lying to law enforcement officials who are investigating the Russian attack on our democracy — and ordering his staff to do the same.”

“My former college students know that the Founding Fathers never intended to allow the president to commit crimes whenever and wherever he wanted,” she said in a statement. “I know it too. So, it falls to Congress to make sure that no president is above the law — and for this president, that means an impeachment inquiry.”

Susie Lee

Rep. Susie Lee, who represents the 3rd Congressional District, has not supported a call for an impeachment inquiry as of yet. She has maintained that Congress’ ability to impeach is a power that should not be used lightly.

“The Constitution gives Congress a few extraordinarily solemn powers, including the power to declare war and the power to impeach the president,” she said. “I believe such powers must be used sparingly and wisely.”

She has not fully dismissed supporting an impeachment inquiry aimed at Trump, but said that she would need more information to come to a decision.

“Congressional committees still have ongoing investigations about presidential obstruction, and the facts that come from those investigations are key to any decision on impeachment,” she said. “When the committee investigations are complete, and if articles of impeachment are brought to the floor, I will make an informed decision about how to proceed.”

Steven Horsford

Rep. Steven Horsford, the 4th District congressman from North Las Vegas, said he also was waiting for ongoing congressional investigations and the legal challenges affecting those probes to wrap up.

He noted Congress had a constitutional duty to hold the executive branch accountable, “but we need to do so in … a manner in which it can help educate the public about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it,” he said.

He said the report by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, included findings that raised significant concerns.

“I read all 444 pages of the report — front page to the back,” he said. “Clearly, based on the evidence of that report, there are very significant findings against this administration, and I believe that that report along with the other investigative actions that are currently underway will ultimately determine what steps we will take.”

Mark Amodei

A spokesperson for Rep. Mark Amodei, the sole Republican in Nevada’s congressional delegation, said it was premature to discuss the congressman’s stance.

“Since Congress is in recess for the next four weeks, there’s currently no specific proposal on the floor for the congressman to consider,” said spokesperson Logan Tucker.

Amodei, who represents Northern Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District, voted against a resolution condemning the president after Trump tweeted racist attacks that “the Squad,” a group of progressive congresswomen of color should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Amodei said he would refrain from becoming involved a social media clash.

“I have been consistent in my refusal to enter social media battles which are based largely on personalities,” he said in a statement. “I didn’t do it when people were arguably critical of the Jewish faith or referred to the sitting president as a ‘MF-er’, and my refusal has been applied equally regardless of who the source of communication is."

Catherine Cortez Masto

Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has supported investigating Trump but has not called for impeachment proceedings.

In an email, a spokesperson said Cortez Masto was more focused on passing legislation to secure future elections.

“Senator Cortez Masto supports continuing to investigate the Trump administration and bringing transparency to the issue of foreign interference in our elections,” Monica Garcia, a spokesperson for the senator, said in an email. “She believes Congress has an important oversight role but that it is ultimately up to the House to determine whether it will start impeachment proceedings.”

Jacky Rosen

Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen has not called for an impeachment inquiry but has stressed the need to see the unredacted Mueller Report.

“Senator Rosen believes that Congress has every right to exercise oversight and continue its investigation into Russian interference,” a statement from Rosen’s office to the Sun read. “Congress must see the special counsel’s full, unredacted report.”

Even if the House ultimately voted for impeachment, removal of Trump from office is thought to be extraordinarily unlikely. Conviction of the president — and his ouster — requires a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate. To achieve the supermajority threshold, all 47 Democratic senators, the two independent senators and 20 Republican senators would have to vote to convict Trump.