Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said Monday that the decision by House Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Trump was the wrong one.
Katko said that after reading the summary of the call between President Trump and Ukraine's president and the whistleblower complaint that followed, in his opinion, there's not enough evidence to launch an impeachment inquiry.
"If you look at the call itself. The call itself is a transcript of what they spoke about," said Katko. "To me, from an evidence standpoint, nowhere near enough to start an impeachment proceeding. And then you have the whistleblower complaint, which was also released. That has no direct knowlwdge of the events. It has second and third hand information. Does it provide a blueprint of what to look at? Of course. But does that mean, at this point, do you start an impeachment proceeding? No."
Katko said instead, a thorough investigation should have been done before the impeachment inquiry was announced.
"If you want to investigate things, that's your prerogative. But, that's all I'm saying through all of this, don't put the cart before the horse," Katko said. "Because it's never been done in the history of our country to start impeachment proceedings, then do an investigation. All I'm saying is wait until you develop the facts and see where the facts take you."
Katko said while this "political nonsense" is going on, work being done in Washington will grind to a halt, and he predicts the partisan rhetoric from both sides will only get worse.
"We've got people at the rate of five an hour dropping from suicide. Over 3,000 suicide attempts a day,"he said. "We've got roads and bridges that are crumbling. Lake Ontario's water levels are out of control. Prescription drug price reform. Everything's going to grind to a halt, and the partisan vitriol that's going up on both sides isn't going to subside, it's going to increase."
The three Democrats running to challenge Katko in next year's election, Francis Conole, Roger Misso and Dana Balter, have all said they support the impeachment inquiry.