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Thu Oct 31, 2019, 09:52 AM

House justified in impeaching Trump, says former (GOP) U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton


Oct. 31, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Jim Brunner
Seattle Times political reporter
In March of 1974, then-Washington Attorney General Slade Gorton broke with fellow Republicans with a public call for President Richard Nixon’s resignation amid revelations of abuse of power related to the Watergate scandal.

More than four decades later, with Congress poised to take a key vote Thursday to formalize an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Gorton is once again at odds with most in his party, who have dismissed the Ukraine investigation as a partisan witch hunt.

“I reached the conclusion that there are a dozen actions on this president’s part that warrant a vote of impeachment in the House,” Gorton, the former U.S. senator, said in an interview this week at his Clyde Hill home.

While Gorton hasn’t held office since losing to Maria Cantwell in 2000, the 91-year-old remains a mentor and elder statesman in the Washington GOP as the last Republican to represent the state in the U.S. Senate. His backing of impeachment echoes similar statements by some other national GOP figures, such as former Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Gorton pointed to testimony that Trump and allies, such as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, pressured leaders of the Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his family. (The effort also involved Gordon Sondland, the Northwest hotelier appointed ambassador to the European Union after donating $1 million to Trump’s inauguration.)

“That poor president of the Ukraine,” Gorton said, referring to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. “Trying to keep an independent country … and the president of the United States is holding up his money and his reputation and everything else. Of course that was not an even negotiation by any stretch of the imagination. It was a pure shakedown.”


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