Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) held a town hall in New Hartford Thursday evening, the first since House Democrats announced their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Brindisi took questions from the crowd of around 100 people for nearly two hours. Topics of conversation included prescription drugs, healthcare, border security and the environment among many others, but some of the most contentious parts of the night were over Brindisi’s stance on impeachment.
Brindisi is the only New York Democrat and one of only eight total in the House who hasn’t directly said that he supports the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. He said, he supports the House’s investigation and thinks the White House should cooperate.
"I understand. I know that you want me to say I support the inquiry,” Brindisi said in response to one question. “What I am going to say to you tonight is I'm going to look at every piece of evidence and all the facts that come out and if and when articles of impeachment are presented to the full house, I will vote based upon the evidence that I have reviewed through this investigation."
This is Brindisi’s eleventh town hall since taking office in January. He’s held one in each county of the district.
So far, three Republicans have announced bids to unseat Brindisi in 2020 including former Rep. Claudia Tenney, Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell and educator George Phillips.
Brindisi also said Thursday that a vote by the full House to approve an impeachment inquiry was "not necessary." Earlier Thursday, North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) told a crowd in Lowville that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should schedule a vote, so the public knows where their representative stands on the issue.
Vaughn Golden is a freelance journalist based in Ithaca, N.Y.