Wilton letter: Himes is right on impeachment

To the Editors:

Congressman Jim Himes was correct to vote in favor of impeachment last week. The United States Constitution and our political norms cannot allow any president to withhold congressionally approved foreign aid in return for personal, political favors that are designed to corrupt national elections. Those who minimize this offense put our democracy at risk.

The facts regarding this Donald Trump misdeed are beyond dispute, as evidenced by his own words from the July 25th call with Ukraine President Zelensky (“do us a favor though…”), interview with acting Chief of Staff Mulvaney (“We do that all the time…. Get over it.”), testimony of Ambassador Gordon Sondland (“Was there a ‘quid pro quo? The answer is yes.”), and testimony and documents from multiple additional sources. Rather than offer exonerating evidence, President Trump withheld documents and prohibited current and former officials from participating. President Trump even refused to allow his own lawyers to participate when offered the chance to do so.

Congressman Himes understands the seriousness of impeachment. He and the vast majority of the Democratic caucus did not support the action until the Ukraine facts became known. Further, impeachment comes at significant political risk for the Democratic party, especially given the virtual certainty that the Republican-controlled Senate will not engage in an honest trial, let alone vote to convict. Nonetheless, the gravity of Donald Trump’s actions required the House of Representatives to vote for impeachment.

Importantly, Congressman Himes and House Democrats have not been distracted by impeachment. Far from the “do nothing Congress” that Donald Trump frequently complains about, this Democratic House of Representatives has passed over 400 bills that now languish without action on Senator Mitch McConnell’s desk. Some of these bills are unlikely to find support in the Republican-controlled Senate, but over 250 had bipartisan support in the House, including universal background checks for gun purchases, net neutrality, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, and reducing prescription drug prices. The list of bipartisan bills ignored by McConnell also includes raising caps on deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT), which were enacted two years ago and disproportionately harm taxpayers in blue-leaning states such as ours.

Connecticut’s Fourth Congressional District is fortunate to have Jim Himes as our Congressman; treating impeachment matters with serious resolve while not losing sight of the policy and legislative issues important to our district, to Connecticut, and to our nation.

Tom Dubin

Chair, Wilton Democratic Town Committee