Public hearings in the impeachment inquiry begin in the U.S. House today. Coloradans of various political stripes said this week they will watch the hearings closely, but hope the process goes quickly.
At the Federal Center light rail stop, just west of Denver in Lakewood, on Tuesday, voter Joe Brosky said the public hearings would ideally bring more facts to light.
“I’m just becoming inundated with the hoopla without much substance,” Brosky said of the news coverage so far.
Brosky switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat after President Trump got elected. He’ll follow the testimony, but said he already thinks there’s enough evidence to impeach. Brosky wants both sides to take the public hearings seriously.
“Where someone is called to testify, [I hope] they don’t back out at the last moment, they’re not discredited by the White House, something less like a circus and more like due process,” Brosky said.
Other voters are taking a wait and see approach. Anne Greer, a Democrat from Evergreen, said she needs more information before she decides on impeachment.
“I’m not positive. It seemed to me there were things that happened earlier that could have led to that,” she said.
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Similarly, Nicholas Nicols of Lakewood isn’t sure the Ukraine issue in particular rises to the level of impeachment. He feels Democrats have tried for years to discredit the President and “nothing has worked.”
“You mean to tell me you think he’s the first president that came along trying to get information on other people or people that were his opposition,” Nicols asked. “It seems to me that everything is under this huge microscope now and just because there’s social media and everything is quick access now, that’s different than when Kennedy and Nixon [were in office].”
“I don’t think it’s any dirtier now than it was back then.”
Nicols hopes the process is bipartisan, even though he doesn’t foresee that happening. He thinks liberals make Trump into a villian, and that the president is trying to do some good things. Still, he’s not sure if he’ll vote for Trump in 2020.
“I don’t know if he should continue to be president. He just causes too much of a stir,” Nichols said.
It’s too much of a stir for one voter to even tune in this week. Betina Hemingway of Lakewood said she’ll actively avoid watching the impeachment hearings, even though she wants Trump out of office.
“Everything is just so split,” she said. “We just need more balance. It’s just so out of balance.”
In Grand Junction, voters walking along Main Street on Tuesday morning said they already have their minds made up over the inquiry. Republican Martin Kilory, 71, insisted he definitely won’t be watching the public hearings.
“You know, it'd be pretty boring,” he said with a laugh. Instead, the 71-year-old who said he's lived on the Western Slope for many years but is in the process of moving away from plans to catch the highlights on Fox News. Kilory calls himself a “very big Trump fan.”
“I think the impeachment thing is a total fraud. It goes against the American people, and the swamp in D.C, they're just kidding themselves,” Kilroy said, before echoing a term the President has used to describe the proceedings.
“It’s a kangaroo court,” he said.
Also like Trump, Kilory puts a lot of blame on the Democratic Congressman leading the impeachment investigation, Rep. Adam Schiff of California.
“He thinks he's this unbelievable patriotic guy. He's probably one of the most anti-American people I've ever seen in my life,” Kilory said. “End of comment.”
Other right-leaning voters didn’t express anger at Schiff, but did talk with weariness about this latest political turmoil surrounding Trump.
“I'm just going to give it some attention, but I really wish they would start moving on to other things,” said 53-year-old Drew Morgan, talking about Congressional Democrats.
Morgan, who calls himself a “very liberal Republican,” doesn’t believe the inquiry itself is what’s driving a wedge between voters.
“It seems to me it's doing nothing but making the divide apparent. I don't think it's actually dividing people,” he said. “I think people had the proclivity to be on one side or the other already.”
In Mesa County, the liberal side is very much in the minority, with Democrats making up less than 20 percent of registered voters. One of them is Kay Simons, 84, who said she and her largely liberal friend group try to be careful not to alienate their more conservative buddies in these divided times.
“You're afraid the subject is going to come up, of political stuff,” she said. “And we know we're on opposite sides, and it just makes it difficult. We’re sorry for that.”
That’s why Simons largely avoids talking about Trump and the impeachment process, though she’ll be watching the proceedings closely.
“Being a Democrat, we want to get him out of there,” she said, with a chuckle. “So is that plain enough?”
And like many Coloradans across the political divide, she hopes these proceedings end before too long.
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