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Former Republican Senator Calls Out His Party Over Opposition to Impeachment Inquiry, Says Facts Show a 'Shakedown'

Former Republican Senator Calls Out His Party Over Opposition to Impeachment Inquiry, Says Facts Show a 'Shakedown'
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

While members of the opposition have been highly critical of Republican support for President Donald Trump during the impeachment inquiry, some of the condemnation also comes from within the GOP. The organization Republicans for the Rule of Law criticize the President and those who enabled him often.

And now, former GOP Senator Slade Gorton added his voice to the opposition.

In an opinion piece for The New York Times, Gorton called on his fellow Republicans to face reality. Like many, Gorton juxtaposed the investigation of the crimes of President Richard Nixon to the current impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

Gorton wrote:

"In March of 1974, as a young state attorney general, I reluctantly called for President Richard Nixon's resignation amid revelations of abuses of power related to Watergate. It wasn't an easy thing to do. As a Republican, I didn't enjoy breaking with my party or my President."
"As an elected official and practical politician, I didn't particularly enjoy the implications of turning against someone who had comfortably carried Washington State just two years earlier. None of it was pleasant, but I believed it was the right thing to do on the facts and on the merits."

Gorton added:

"John Adams said, 'Facts are stubborn things.' Forty-five years after Mr. Nixon resigned before he could be impeached by the House, the facts should be the focus of every elected official, Republican or Democrat, as they decide what to do about another President facing impeachment and a possible Senate trial."

The former Senator from Washington implored Republicans to focus on facts.

"To my fellow Republicans, I give this grave and genuine warning: It's not enough merely to dismiss the Ukraine investigation as a partisan witch hunt or to hide behind attacks against the 'deep state,' or to try to find some reason to denounce every witness who steps forward, from decorated veterans to Trump megadonors."
"History demands that we all wrestle with the facts at hand. They are unavoidable. Fifty years from now, history will not accept the position that impeachment was a referendum on the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi. It must be a verdict reached on the facts."

But an administration that knowingly, openly and constantly offers lies and alternative facts does not inspire those who loyal to them to embrace facts over conspiracy theories or outright lies. Gorton pointed out some facts anyway.

"My judgment so far as an objective observer is that there are multiple actions on this President's part that warrant a vote of impeachment in the House, based on corroborated testimony that Mr. Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, pressured leaders of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his family."
"From what I have read, it seems clear that President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine was subjected to a shakedown — pressured to become a foreign participant in President Trump's re-election campaign, a violation of the law."

People concurred with Gorton's assessment.

However a few of the people Gorton called out in his editorial responded as well, with typical denials.

Leading many to see it as a small gesture unlikely to have an impact on those who need to hear the message.

However one respondent offered a solution to those who GOP members who may vote out of fear over their actual views on the facts.

The impeachment inquiry has not yet concluded. After that a vote will be held in the Democrat controlled House.

A date for such a vote has not been set by House leadership.

The book Impeachment: An American History is available here.