As the U.S. House of Representatives opened up an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump this week, East End Congressman Lee Zeldin, a Republican, slammed his Democratic colleagues, while his 2020 opponents were quick to praise the proceedings.
After nearly a year of resisting calls for impeachment from the left wing of her party, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that the House would begin a formal impeachment inquiry into the president’s behavior based on reports that he had asked the president of Ukraine, in a telephone conversation, to investigate a potential 2020 Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
“It is incredibly concerning that House Democrats were so eager to demand impeachment based on a whistleblower report they hadn’t even seen, filed by a person without firsthand knowledge,” said Mr. Zeldin in a statement Thursday. “They refused to even wait one day to read the full, unredacted transcript of the call.”
“House Democrats have left off the table so many important victories for the American people since taking control of the House because of their tactics and obsession with reversing the results of the 2016 election,” he added. “Instead of trying to resist, oppose, impeach and obstruct everything and anything, Congressional Democrats should work with Congressional Republicans to find common ground on important issues however possible to move our great country forward.”
Both Democrats who have announced they are running against Mr. Zeldin in 2020 praised Ms. Pelosi’s decision.
Perry Gershon, who also ran against Mr. Zeldin in 2018, worked in real estate finance in New York City, where he says “the whole community knew Donald Trump was essentially a snake oil salesman.”
Mr. Gershon said Tuesday that an impeachment proceeding is the right thing to do.
“President Trump crossed the line by (1) obstructing the whistleblower law and (2) using congressionally approved aid as a bargaining chip to force a foreign nation to investigate his political rival,” said Mr. Gershon. “It is clear that with no enforcement of his boundaries, this president will continue to ignore them, and the rule of law will be forever compromised.”
“Deflection is not an excuse or remedy. ‘Whataboutism’ as a defense must stop. Without evidence of misdeeds, Republicans like Representative Zeldin try to stir a phony pot of controversy by tweeting misleading videos. Such activity turns a blind eye to the real lawlessness by our chief executive and further enables his bad actions and words. Lee Zeldin frequently uses his twitter to attack victims and potential prosecutors. Such complicity must be put to an end,” he added. “Our country is founded on the rule of law. President Trump is making a mockery of the norms and structures that bind us and flaunting his perceived right to break the law. It is the constitutional duty of Congress to stop him and his chief enablers.”
Dr. Nancy Goroff, a chemist who has taught at Stony Brook University for 22 years and served as chair of the school’s chemistry department, agreed.
“If the allegations are true, Donald Trump should be removed from office —and an impeachment inquiry is the proper way to determine the truth,” she said in a statement Tuesday.
“Here’s what we know for certain: The Intelligence Community Inspector General recently received a credible and urgent whistleblower report, likely relating to these allegations — and the Trump administration is blocking the release of this report to Congress, as is required by law; Trump has admitted to discussing a potential investigation of Joe Biden with the president of Ukraine; Reports indicate that shortly before Trump’s call with Ukraine, he personally directed his Administration to freeze foreign military aid to the nation; this news comes on top of the other impeachable offenses allegedly committed by this President, including obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress, and using the Presidency to enrich himself.”
“If Donald Trump tried to leverage foreign aid to influence Ukraine into doing his bidding and interfering in our democracy, that effort would be a gross violation of his oath of office and a blatant assault on the rule of law,” she added. “Now is the time for members of both parties to do what is right, because history will judge us. We can’t be silent when the President of the United States tries to force politically-motivated investigations into his rivals. I stand in full support of an impeachment inquiry, to go wherever the facts lead.”