Impeachment Questions Dominate Rep. Joe Neguse’s Boulder Town Hall

Taylor Allen/CPR News
Rep. Joe Neguse addresses a packed town hall at the Boulder public library on Oct 8, 2019.

Rep. Joe Neguse’s 23rd town hall — held at the Boulder library — was packed Monday evening as questions about impeachment dominated the first 45 minutes of the hour-long session.

Sylvia Bernstein of Boulder came specifically to hear any updates about the investigation into President Donald Trump.

“I’m really hoping they’re going to move on this quickly and efficiently… and get him out of there,” Bernstein said.

Neguse, a Democrat who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, walked constituents through the process. Six committees — Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Financial Services, Ways and Means, and Oversight and Government Reform — all have roles to play, but the Intelligence Committee is taking the lead, according to Neguse.

The congressman told the crowd he is optimistic that some Republicans may be more open to the idea of impeachment as the evidence unfolds.

“I certainly hope they will review facts in an unbiased and in an objective way,” Neguse said. “And if they do, I believe they can’t come to any other conclusion that this conduct is clearly is beyond the egregious and unwarranted.”

Although the vast majority of the audience at Monday’s townhall clearly favored impeachment, some who came are worried that Democrats may be moving too hastily. Harry Ross was one of a few who voiced that concern.

“[The allegations] don’t look good,” Ross said. “They look pretty incriminating but there needs to be a real process and it shouldn’t matter what side you’re on. I’m worried the Republicans are doing everything they can to stop it and there are elements of the Democratic Party that are doing everything they can to make it happen...I don’t like either side being so radical.”

Taylor Allen
Constituents packed a town hall Monday in order to ask Rep. Joe Neguse questions about impeachment.

A few people did arrive with concerns that had nothing to do with impeachment. They instead asked questions about immigration, Medicare for All, student loan debt and the politics of climate change.

On the topic of immigration, Neguse described his sponsorship of the Dignity in Detention Act, introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapa, a Washington state Democrat. The bill has about 100 cosponsors and Neguse said he feels good about its chances of advancing through the House. It sets standards of care for detention facilities that hold undocumented immigrants under the custody of the Department of Homeland Security.

Neguse said although he supports Medicare for All, he recognizes it is unlikely to pass while the Senate and White House are held by Republicans. Instead, he’s focused on reforming the current health care system.

Neguse ran out of time to address all of the attendees’ concerns because of how much impeachment took over the conversation, but regardless, he said he’s happy that people are engaged.

“People are worried about democracy,” he said. “It recharges me for the work ahead as I head back to Washington.”

Trump Campaign Eyes ‘Vulnerable’ Colorado Democrats

Neguse’s deep blue second district appears safe in the 2020 election, but on Monday the Republican National Committee announced it’s setting its sights on a member of the Colorado delegation from a more competitive seat.

The RNC and President Trump’s reelection campaign released a list of 60 Democratic members of Congress and candidates it plans to target with anti-impeachment ads. The two Coloradans in the cross-hairs are freshman Rep. Jason Crow of Aurora and Senate candidate John Hickenlooper.

Crow won his seat in the 2018 midterms by ousting incumbent Republican Mike Coffman in Colorado’s politically mixed 6th Congressional District.

“We're going to make sure that all of these representatives know that we will be coming into their districts until Election Day 2020 to hold them accountable and make sure their voters know they have done exactly the opposite of what they ran on,” RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said in a press call Monday.

“Instead of focusing on health care… or immigration, or issues that were so important to the people they represent, they are focused on investigation after investigation and nullifying the results of the 2016 election.”

The RNC is dedicating $2 million to print, radio and online advertising in the first phase of the campaign.