By: Kerry Picket of the Washington Examiner
The three members of Congress still in office who were among the 13 House managers during the Clinton impeachment said they plan to use their experience to protect the president.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who gave the opening statement on the House floor in 1998 during the hearing and is retiring after serving 20 terms, told Fox 6, “I’m going to use that institutional memory basically to say they’re wasting the taxpayers' time. There’s no way the Senate is going to kick Donald Trump out of office.”
“If they are dumb enough to start going down the road of impeachment, I will be very active in dealing with that issue,” the Wisconsin Republican said.
Rep. Steve Chabot, who has sat on the House Judiciary Committee for 23 years, released a blog post nearly two weeks ago arguing the Democrats were not following appropriate procedures of the House to move forward on impeachment of the president.
"The Democrats on the committee decided to pass a resolution, laying out the procedures that would be followed for an impeachment investigation. But wait a minute. This is not the way it’s supposed to be done," the Ohio Republican said, referring to a House Judiciary Committee hearing this month.
"The Dems have decided to throw out 200 years of precedent on impeachment. The first step is supposed to be for the House of Representatives to authorize the Judiciary Committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry. But they don’t have the votes. So they didn’t do it. They just went straight to the committee and told them to look busy on impeachment, by passing stuff that sounds like impeachment, but really isn’t," he wrote.
Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested House Republicans focus on the legitimacy of the impeachment inquiry itself, saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not have the power to launch an impeachment inquiry without a full House vote.
"One month before the 1998 election, we had a vote in the House of Representatives where 31 Democrats voted with all the Republicans to open an inquiry into the impeachment of President Clinton. He was eventually denied a law license for five years and fined by the court because of his conduct. But the one thing I do believe America deserves is for every member of the House to agree to vote on whether or not they agree there should be an inquiry of impeachment based on this transcript," the South Carolina Republican said in a Fox News interview.
"I don't think she has the power to say we're opening an impeachment inquiry by herself," he said. "I think every member of the House should do what we did in 1998: Vote."