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Brindisi votes for House impeachment resolution, Katko, Stefanik, Reed vote against

David Paul Ohmer

Updated at 1:36 p.m.

The House of Representatives voted 232-196 Thursday to pass a resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Central and northern New York's members of Congress voted along party lines on the resolution. 

Rep. Anthony Brindisi, had been one of the few Democrats in the House to not publicly support the impeachment inquiry. But he voted in favor of the resolution Thursday. In a statement, he said he supports moving the investigation into the public eye. 

The bottom-line here is that the already-in-process investigation is moving along and delivering more questions than answers on both sides of the aisle. Since the investigation began, Democrats and Republicans in charge have failed to effectively come together in a constructive way that delivers what the public deserves: straight facts. My constituents want to judge things for themselves, and I support them. They want more information and public testimony. The only way to ensure this actually happens is to take the investigation into the public arena and shine a much-needed bright light. Doing so will allow both parties to finally call witnesses, the White House to rightfully be involved, and others to publicly respond to testimony heard in the wide open. Fair and open hearings will finally let Americans judge for themselves and –right now—I could not agree more. I want to judge for myself. We all do.

One of Brindisi's Republican opponents next year, former Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, released a statement saying Brindisi chose "far left donors over NY-22."

Just as he did as a candidate for Congress, Anthony Brindisi has once again chosen New York City and California donors over our community by voting to impeach the President. Brindisi continues to side with far-left leaders in Washington including Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez over the needs of the people of Upstate New York. Democrats are obsessed with impeaching the President in order to distract from their abysmal record of doing nothing to help Upstate New York and the American people. Despite Anthony Brindisi’s claims that this opens up a fair and transparent process, the resolution is a lame attempt to save the Democrats from an unconstitutional charade being carried on by Adam Schiff in the bowels of the Capitol. Furthermore, the resolution does not afford the minority party and the President basic due process rights as guaranteed by our founding principles as enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The resolution is a sad day for the American people and our democratic principles.

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) voted against the resolution, saying in a statement "Impeachment must clear a high bar to be justifiable. The facts of the investigation, its timing, and its methodology do not clear that bar."

Katko's full statement: 

Impeachment must clear a very high bar to be justifiable. The facts of the investigation, its timing, and its methodology do not clear that bar. We are less than a year away from a Presidential election where every American – not just a select few in Congress – will have a chance to render their judgment of the President. Congress should finally, at long last, get to work on the many pressing issues that the American people elected us to handle rather than burning through the remaining time we have to legislate before the next election. We should be focused on creating jobs, growing the economy, getting healthcare costs in check and providing a strong national defense. Instead, Nancy Pelosi has decided to turn a blind eye on the economy and a host of other issues to pursue impeachment less than a year before the Presidential election.

Katko's statement drew an immediate rebuke from one of his Democratic challengers in next year, Dana Balter.

Over the past month, it has become increasingly clear to the American people that the President of the United States abused his power by withholding military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure a foreign government to interfere in our elections. John Katko made clear with his vote today that he’s not interested in knowing the truth about President Trump’s egregious abuses of power. Nor is he interested in upholding his own oath to protect and defend the Constitution despite the fact that the very foundation of our democracy is at stake. In a stunning betrayal of the people he’s supposed to represent, Congressman Kakto chooses, yet again, to put partisanship ahead of the national security.

Another of Katko's Democratic challengers, Francis Conole, also had strong words for Katko.

Representative John Katko likes to tout his background as a United States Prosecutor, but his vote today against continuing to investigate and gather all the facts around the allegations that President Trump abused his power and threatened our national security by asking a foreign government to investigate a political opponent in exchange for security assistance, proves once again that Katko’s priorities have changed. Instead of looking out for our national security, John Katko’s mission has become protecting President Donald Trump at all costs and following his party leadership’s partisan orders. My service at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of our military has taught me to take a deliberate approach and gather all the evidence and intelligence possible to ensure the best course of action when facing decisions, especially of this magnitude. The evidence and testimony gathered thus far points to President Trump abusing his power and colluding with a foreign government - a clear attack on our democracy and our American values. Nobody is above the law, including the President, which is why I continue to support protecting our country as well as our democracy and continuing the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. John Katko and I both took an oath to protect and defend the constitution. I lived up to my oath, serving our country. Katko is betraying his. He needs to stop putting politics ahead of the country.

North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) released a statement from her reelection campaign, where shae maintained she against impeachement, and challenged her Democratic challenger, Tedra Cobb, to state her position. 

Adam Schiff continues to abuse his position of power in the closed, unprecedented, and unfair impeachment depositions and interviews. Speaker Pelosi’s Resolution further empowers Schiff to continue his regime of secrecy from the American public. Every American - no matter your political ideology - deserves transparency from the beginning of this process. And from the beginning Adam Schiff has denied them that. I will be voting NO on Pelosi’s partisan impeachment resolution because it further empowers Adam Schiff and further limits Members of Congress participation in this broken process. The voters in our district deserve to know where my Democratic opponent, Tedra Cobb, stands on this critical vote. But my guess is she will continue to hide and refuse to answer - and the media will let her.

Cobb, in a statement provided to NCPR, said she would have voted yes on the House resolution. 

"As I've said repeatedly, I support the inquiry and its goal in finding the facts in this grave matter of national security," said Cobb. “This vote will bring further transparency to this incredibly important process."

Jason has served as WRVO's news director in some capacity since August 2017. As news director, Jason produces hourly newscasts, and helps direct local news coverage and special programming. Before that, Jason hosted Morning Edition on WRVO from 2009-2019. Jason came to WRVO in January of 2008 as a producer/reporter. Before that, he spent two years as an anchor/reporter at WSYR Radio in Syracuse.