Emmer: Democrats' ‘hatred’ for president is driving impeachment

Rep. Tom Emmer holds a town hall at Scandia City Hall.
Minnesota U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer talks to constituents in Scandia, Minn., during a town hall on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at the City Hall.
Nina Moini | MPR News

Every Minnesota Democrat in Washington with the exception of U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson supports the impeachment investigation into President Trump. All the Minnesota Republicans oppose it.

Rep. Tom Emmer represents the state's 6th District and heads up the Republican effort to win back control of the House next year as chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Emmer put out a statement earlier this week opposing the effort, and in an interview Thursday said Wednesday’s release by the White House of a partial transcript of Trump’s telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy strengthened his opposition.

“There is no basis whatsoever in the transcript that was released to support an impeachment, let alone an impeachment proceeding,” Emmer said, adding that Democrats will pay a political price for the move.

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“Their obsession with their hatred for this president will cost them their majority next year.”

Emmer said Democrats would have been smarter to wait until next year’s election to try to defeat Trump.

“They have accomplished nothing,” he said of the Democratic House majority.

As to whether Republicans would have a different view if a Democrat were in the White House, Emmer said some Republicans wanted to conduct similar investigations of President Barack Obama, but “nobody took the bait.”

Two Minnesota first-term Democrats — Dean Phillips and Angie Craig — announced they would support an impeachment investigation this week before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced it would happen.

Both had said earlier they would wait for other investigations of the president before taking a position. Craig said the facts changed.

“When the president revealed on Sunday that he admitted to calling the Ukrainian government himself and asking his personal counsel to get involved, and now we understand that Congress-appropriated foreign aid was held up, there's no doubt in my mind that this is just wrong and it’s putting our national security at risk,” Craig told MPR News.

Emmer contends that House leaders were pushed to support impeachment by their “socialist” members.

“If you want to know what Nancy Pelosi is going to do tomorrow, I think you need to look at what Ms. [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez is tweeting today,” he said. “I’m afraid that this new socialist Democrat party has taken over my grandfather’s Democrat party.”