State of Texas: The impact of the impeachment inquiry on Texas politics

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — As the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump moves forward, some Texans are finding themselves caught up in the process happening in Washington.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry was subpoenaed by House Democrats on Thursday as part of the investigation on the President. Donald Trump said Perry, who currently serves as Energy Secretary, set up the July 25 call with the Ukrainian president.

A spokeswoman for Perry said he wanted Trump to speak with the Ukrainian president to help boost energy ties to Eastern Europe.

Also, former Texas Congressman Pete Sessions, who is now running for Congress in a central Texas district, has been linked to the indictment of two associates of Rudy Giuliani.

The indictment says the two men asked a U.S. congressman to help remove the American ambassador to Ukraine. The men also committed to raise more than $20,000 for that politician.

The congressman was not named in the indictment. The New York Times reported campaign finance filings show Sessions to be that politician.

Sessions released a statement saying that he did meet with the men who were indicted, but that he did nothing wrong. “There was no request in that meeting and I took no action,” Sessions said in the release.

Is other work getting done in Washington during the inquiry?

People on both sides are concerned if Congress can still pass major legislation while work continues on the impeachment inquiry. Central Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett said they can and they have passed bills in the House. But Doggett, a Democrat, blames the Republican-controlled Senate for shutting those bills down.

“On one bill after another we’ve sent them there, (Mitch McConnell) refused to let the Senate even debate them,” Doggett said. “I think the bigger question is whether President Trump can do that. He’s repudiated the idea of legislating as long as he’s being investigated and held accountable.”

However, Republicans like Texas Senator John Cornyn have a different opinion on the inquiry. He said it’s hard enough already to get things done in Washington.

“I don’t know any rational person who thinks that an impeachment inquiry will not have an impact,” Cornyn said. “It will certainly occupy the press. It will occupy a significant amount of the members of Congress.”

Sen. Cornyn has called the inquiry “a political decision.” He said that he believes the allegations do not rise to level of impeachment.

“You don’t have to condone the actions to say that there needs to be a fair process,” Cornyn said. “I think the allegations of this anonymous individual need to be tested,” he said of the whistleblower who led to the inquiry.

Rep. Doggett has a much different view. “This is wrong. It’s very wrong to invite foreign interference.” Doggett cited the President’s own words as reason to move the investigation forward.

“He confessed he did it after denying and then brags about doing it but says it’s OK to ask foreigners for help,” Doggett said. “It’s not okay. It goes to the heart of our democracy, and we and Congress have a responsibility to respond.”

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