In The House And Back Home, Coloradans’ Thoughts On The Impeachment Vote Toe Party Lines

October 31, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gavels as the House votes 232-196 to pass resolution on impeachment procedure to move forward into the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gavels as the House votes 232-196 to pass resolution on impeachment procedure to move forward into the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019.Andrew Harnik/AP Photo
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gavels as the House votes 232-196 to pass resolution on impeachment procedure to move forward into the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019.

Not surprisingly, the impeachment inquiry vote Thursday in the House of Representatives divided the Colorado delegation along party lines. 

The Colorado Democrats all voted for the resolution, and the Republicans voted against. It reflected the vote across the House, which was also largely along party lines, with the resolution passing 232-196.

Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn said the resolution does not make the process any better.

“It's a flawed process and it certainly doesn't fix what happened before, cause it's been flawed from the beginning, and it doesn't fix things going forward,” he said.

Republican Rep. Scott Tipton said these are serious charges being levied against the president. He believes if this the path House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to pursue, “let’s make sure it actually is transparent.”

He said Congress still does not know when this process will move to the public phase.

Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette knows how serious impeachment is. She's the only member of the delegation who was around during the Clinton impeachment. She thinks Thursday's vote was necessary, despite Republican criticism.

“The GOP intends to criticize us no matter what we do. They just don't want to see the inquiry, but I think that it's a necessary next step to have public hearings, to take the public evidence,” DeGette said.

And Rep. Joe Neguse also stressed the seriousness and solemnity of the vote. He said the GOP criticism of the process was, “in my view, an attempt to obfuscate and distract away from the president’s egregious conduct, which continues to be exposed through the evidence.”

He called the vote an important step in codifying the rules of the road for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry.

Back in Colorado, public opinion also fell close to party lines.

John Mayes lives in Castle Pines and identifies as independent. He wants both parties to take the impeachment inquiry seriously.

“I want to see them go through the impeachment process,“ Mayes said. “I want to see what comes out when these people are really put to the fire and have to testify in front of the Senate. You should have to testify on what occurred and let us be able to investigate the issues or there should be consequences.”

Castle Rock voter Stephanie Roskelley usually backs Republicans, but said the results of the impeachment inquiry and how it's handled will impact how she and her husband vote. She likes that the economy is strong but said she thinks it’s tough to handle how “outrageous” Trump can be.

“We could pretty much sway either way, so I think just the actions that come up in the next couple of months will be pretty determining for where we go next,” Roskelley said. 

Claire Lutz, of Sedalia, is not affiliated with either party but said she’s more conservative and voted for Trump. Lutz is watching the impeachment proceedings closely.

“I'm going to erase everybody that worked against President Trump,” she said.

Lutz thinks Congress should be working together and that this is a costly distraction led by Democrats. 

“I think they're wasting our money,” she said.

Mac Ormond lives in Castle Rock and said he’s voted Democratic the last few election cycles. Ormond doesn’t want politicians to toe the party line and said he will be gravely concerned if Republicans line up in lock step behind Trump.

“For me personally, I feel that this is kind of a make or break moment to where we really stand as a nation,” he said. “Are we somebody that will take accountability and responsibility on both sides of the aisle to make sure that the constitution and our own image in the world is something that we truly care about?”

Under Thursday’s resolution, the Intelligence Committee will hold public hearings, with the top Democrat and top Republican able to question witnesses. Intelligence chairman Adam Schiff can release any deposition transcripts. Republican can try to subpoena other witnesses, but only if Democrats on the committee agree. 

Eventually, the Intelligence Committee will write a report of its findings that will go to the Judiciary Committee, which will write up articles of impeachment, if necessary. Both Neguse and Republican Rep. Ken Buck sit on the Judiciary committee.