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Antonio Delgado: Yes vote on impeachment 'right thing to do'

Antonio Delgado: Yes vote on impeachment 'right thing to do'

Antonio Delgado: Yes vote on impeachment 'right thing to do'
U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado addresses the Gazette editorial board on Monday.
Photographer: marc schultz

With a House vote on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump expected as soon as Wednesday, there is little doubt about where the three members of Congress representing the Capital Region stand.

In the 19th District, freshman Rep. Antonio Delgado on Sunday formally announced he would vote for impeachment, saying it was a vote of conscience.

“The president pressured a foreign government for personal political gain while withholding congressionally approved foreign aid, and in doing so, both abused his power and put our national security at risk," Delgado said. "The president also obstructed Congress by blanketly refusing to cooperate with the body’s constitutional right to investigate the matter."

Citing a quote from "my hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," Delgado said, "My conscience tells me that the right thing to do is abide by my oath of office and vote affirmatively for both articles.”

Meeting on Monday with the Gazette Newspapers editorial board, Delgado said he was slow to come to support for impeachment, believing it would be a divisive issue, "but I think things changed when [Trump] admitted soliciting a favor from a foreign head of state."

Delgado's most prominent potential opponent, Republican Tony German of Oneonta, issued a series of tweets last Friday criticizing the impeachment effort in the House.

"Today Washington politicians continued their three year partisan pursuit to overturn the will of the people by removing an elected president from office. Last year Speaker Pelosi said, 'Impeachment is a very serious matter. If it happens, it has to be a bipartisan initiative,' " German wrote. "Not a single Republican has supported their efforts. Furthermore, the Washington politicians' pursuit will undoubtedly die upon arrival in the US Senate. There is no path to removing the President from office here."

In the 20th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Paul D. Tonko, D-Amsterdam, has been a persistent critic of the president on policy as well as ethical grounds since Trump took office in 2017, and voted in favor of the House launching the impeachment inquiry. His office did not respond to a request for comment on Monday, but Tonko has recently retweeted pro-impeachment editorials from major newspapers.

Tonko came out in favor of impeachment in June, based on the findings of the Mueller report that Trump engaged in what may have been obstruction of justice in seeking to stop federal investigations into 2016 Russian election interference.

Like other Republicans, Tonko's announced GOP challenger, Liz Joy of Glenville, opposes impeachment.

"I do not support the impeachment of President Trump. The truth is, no 'High Crimes and Misdemeanors' have been committed by our President," she said in a statement on Monday. "It is very clear that Socialist Democrats, like Paul Tonko, are using Impeachment as a political weapon to take down a duly elected President put into office by 63 Million hard working Americans. I voted for President Trump in 2016 and I look forward to being right under his name on the ballot in the November 2020 election."

In the North Country 21st Congressional District, meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, was among Trump's most vocal defenders at the House Intelligence Committee hearings that heard testimony from witnesses about Trump's interactions with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and isn't expected to break with the solid Republican opposition to impeachment. To date, no congressional Republicans have said they would support impeachment.

"Yes, she will be a 'no' vote on articles of impeachment," Stefanik spokeswoman Madison Anderson said Monday.

Her Democratic opponent, Tedra Cobb of St. Lawrence County, has said she supports the impeachment inquiry, but not yet said she would vote to impeach.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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