LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - While many Democrats like Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky’s 3rd District, strongly support impeachment proceedings against President Trump, hard evidence will likely be needed to convince most republicans he’s guilty of obstruction and other crimes.
“A lot of people aren’t sure what is an impeachable offense,” said University of Louisville Political Science Professor Dr. Dewey Clayton.
Bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors: It’s the latter two that lack definition.
President Bill Clinton was found to have lied under oath about a sexual affair and some critics called it a political witch hunt more than an impeachable offense. The phrase witch hunt is one President Trump is using now as Speaker Nancy Pelosi began impeachment proceedings.
So far, Kentucky Republicans in Washington agree with him.
“Pelosi just bowed to the pressure from within her party and it’s a sad day in America,” Congressman James Comer, a Republican in Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District said.
“Democrats seem to be careening from one baseless impeachment theory to another,” Republican Andy Barr, who represents Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District said.
It’s a defining moment to begin impeachment and a risk. But some politicos believe Pelosi likely felt she had no choice with mounting pressure over possible charges of extortion against President Trump after his dealings with the Ukrainian President.
“It’s a political decision for sure and fraught with pitfalls,” Clayton said.
It could backfire for Democrats to increased public support for the President says Clayton. It happened with President Clinton who was eventually acquitted in the Senate trial, something Clayton says will likely happen with President Trump as two-thirds vote is needed to convict, meaning 20 Senate Republicans would have to turn on him.
Clayton said, “Right now, it doesn’t look like there is appetite in the Senate for the actual removal,” Clayton explained.
Clayton says bipartisan support all depends on what is uncovered in the investigation. Clayton says Republicans weren’t originally on board for the Nixon proceeding until the house issued articles of impeachment. Then he said sentiment began changing. Nixon resigned before impeachment could happen.