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Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) offered the following statement after voting for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“The House passage of the USMCA is a welcome Christmas present for Wisconsin’s hard working families, especially our dairy farmers. This vote has been long overdue, and I urge the Senate to approve the trade deal as soon as possible.”

By: Susan Ferrechio of the Washington Examiner

A House Republican who has presented several impeachment cases in the Senate is warning Democrats their threat to withhold the articles passed against President Trump to gain political leverage may backfire.

“If they are trying to use that as leverage to get the Senate to call witnesses, that will be a huge mistake on their part,” Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican, told the Washington Examiner.

Sensenbrenner, 76, has managed four House impeachments, one of them against President Bill Clinton in 1998 and three involving the removal of federal judges. He is the former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

“From my experience with previous impeachments, not just the Clinton one, but also the judicial ones, the Senate really dislikes House members telling the Senate what to do and how to do it," Sensenbrenner said. "They do that at their great peril.”

Sensenbrenner, along with a dozen other GOP lawmakers, served as a manager in Clinton’s 1999 Senate trial. He was appointed in a House vote that took place right after lawmakers voted to impeach Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice charges.

The House voted to impeach Trump late Wednesday on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But Democrats did not bring up a resolution to appoint impeachment managers.

Instead, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said she is waiting to see the terms of the trial Senate Democrats and Republicans negotiate.

Democrats want the Senate to call current and former Trump administration officials as witnesses and to subpoena documents the Trump administration has refused to turn over by asserting executive privilege. McConnell has rejected the request. McConnell plans to meet Thursday with minority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, to try to work out an agreement for holding a trial.

Until then, the impeachment process remains in limbo.

Senate lawmakers had planned to hold a trial in January, but it all hinges on Pelosi delivering the articles.

“Without the articles, the Senate can’t hold the trial,” Sensenbrenner told the Washington Examiner. “And if the idea is to remove Trump from office, which we all know isn’t going to happen, rather than just make a political statement for what we have done here for the past two-and-a-half years, then they have to deliver the articles to the Senate.”

Sensenbrenner is retiring from the House after the 2020 elections, ending what will be a 42-year House career.

By; Mitchell Schmidt of the Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin’s House members hewed to party lines Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump, with U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, whose district is the most narrowly divided among the state’s congressional districts, finally breaking his silence during the historic vote.

Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth, Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, and Kind voted in favor of the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Reps. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, and Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, voted against both articles of impeachment.

Kind, D-La Crosse, was the only Wisconsin congressman to not indicate how he intended to vote ahead of Wednesday’s impeachment. That also made him the only Democrat representing a district Trump won in 2016 who didn’t reveal his position ahead of time, according to a tally by The Washington Post.

“I’ve reviewed the evidence and followed the hearings. It’s clear the President’s actions were a flagrant abuse of constitutional power; it was unlawful, and it jeopardized our national security,” Kind said in a statement. “Some have argued to let the voters in the next election decide. But how can we trust an election that the President is trying to corrupt?”

With Trump winning Kind’s district in western Wisconsin by four points in 2016, breaking a streak of Democratic presidential candidate victories, the congressman’s Wednesday vote could serve to reinforce his strength among Democratic voters, while also alienating some of Trump’s supporters in Kind’s more rural district.

Four of Wisconsin’s House members spoke on the floor during the six-hour debate. Kind, Gallagher and Steil did not.

Districts represented by Pocan and Moore have strong Democratic majorities.

“This is a vote for our Constitution, setting the precedent for all future presidents, Democrat or Republican,” Pocan said during the House floor debate Wednesday. “Donald Trump must be held accountable for his actions. Today we send a clear signal for this president and all future presidents. No one is above the law.”

Sensenbrenner, who is retiring after this term and serves on the House Judiciary Committee that forwarded the articles of impeachment last week to the House, spoke Wednesday against what he called “phony articles of impeachment.”

“We are here because the majority caucus, the Democratic caucus, has been hijacked by the radical left,” he said. “They have wanted to reverse the course of the 2016 election ever since Donald J. Trump won that election.”

Grothman accused Democratic lawmakers of embarking on impeachment proceedings the moment Trump was elected.

“This impeachment is not about anything that happened on a phone call, this impeachment is about what President Trump has done,” Grothman said. “President Trump is keeping his campaign promises and you hate him for that.”

Moore challenged the argument that Democratic lawmakers are using the impeachment to overturn the 2016 election.

“I agree, elections are the appropriate venue for public policy disputes, however we’re not talking about a public policy dispute, we’re talking about a president who subverted national security by soliciting foreign interference in our election,” Moore said. “The exact thing our Founding Fathers feared.”

Northern Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District, formerly held by vocal Trump supporter and Republican Sean Duffy until his September resignation due to the birth of his ninth child, will remain vacant until a May special election.

Kind district split

Kind has won his House seat by comfortable margins. He didn’t face a general election opponent in 2016, when Trump won his district. In 2018, he won by nearly 20 points.

However, Marquette Law School polls from 2017 to 2019 have found an even partisan split in Kind’s district. Respondents over the last three years — including those who lean to a party — in the district have been 44% Democrat, 44% Republican and 10% independent.

Kind’s district also included the narrowest divide among respondents on whether or not they felt Trump should be impeached and removed from office. Polls conducted in October, November and December — with a sample of 287 total respondents — found 45% of respondents approved of impeachment and removal from office, while 50% were against.

“Kind’s is the only one that is sort of in the middle,” Marquette poll director Charles Franklin said. “The risk that he kind of runs is if there is a super mobilization of Trump voters in 2020 … In a close district like Kind’s, that might be a risky thing for him. On the other hand, Democrats are awfully riled up about this.”

Anthony Chergosky, a UW-La Crosse assistant professor of political science, said an impeachment vote forces Kind, who has trended more moderate than other congressional Democrats, to weigh in on what has become an intensely partisan issue.

“It puts him in a tough spot,” Chergosky said. “About half the district is going to be mad at him regardless of what he chooses.”

However, Joe Heim, emeritus professor of political science with UW-La Crosse, said voters in the 3rd Congressional District are “not dyed-in-the-wool members of their party.”

“People here are a little more willing to split their tickets than other parts of the state,” Heim said.

Chergosky added that Kind’s status as an incumbent and a lack of a high-profile GOP challenger should benefit him in 2020.

“If a Republican is going to win an election over Ron Kind, they’re going to have to win over voters who have supported him in the past and that is no easy task,” Chergosky said. “I think Ron Kind is pretty safe.”

Currently, Republicans Brandon Cook and Shannon Moats are vying for Kind’s seat.

Republican Party of Wisconsin executive director Mark Jefferson singled out Kind’s vote in a statement Wednesday night.

“Democrats like Rep. Ron Kind have tried to conceal their stance on the issue when they knew how they would vote weeks, if not months,” Jefferson said. “Today’s vote displays the sad state of politics where Rep. Ron Kind and other Democrats want to see President Trump fail at the expense of the American people.”

Michael Smuksta, chairman of the La Crosse County Democratic Party, still likes Kind’s chances of winning a 13th term next November.

“Even some conservatives, who may not be Trump conservatives, like what he does,” Smuksta said. “If he’s the nominee coming out of the primary facing a Republican, my bet is the voters in this district are not going to replace a Democrat with a Republican.”

By: Shawn Johnson

La Crosse Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind joined other Democrats in voting to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday, marking just the third time a president has been impeached in U.S. history.

The vote followed a day of debate in the U.S. House of Representatives that saw members of Wisconsin's congressional delegation sharply divided, with Democrats saying Trump had given them no choice and Republicans attacking the process as an effort to undo the 2016 election. All of Wisconsin's Democratic representatives voted for impeachment while all of the state's Republicans voted against it.

Most of Wisconsin's delegation had already announced their plans ahead of Wednesday's vote with the exception of Kind, whose western Wisconsin district voted for Trump three years ago.

Kind issued a written statement after his vote, saying it was clear to him he viewed his vote as a signal to future presidents of what is acceptable behavior.

"Until now, I have reserved judgment, waiting for all the facts to come out," Kind said. "I’ve reviewed the evidence and followed the hearings. It’s clear the President’s actions were a flagrant abuse of constitutional power; it was unlawful, and it jeopardized our national security."

Other Democrats, like U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan of Dane County, had been saying for months that impeachment was the only course left for Congress. Pocan said the evidence was clear Trump had used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

"This is about a perfect storm," Pocan said from the House floor. "Months of activity directly ordered by the president to his senior cabinet and political appointees. An orchestrated plan demanding a foreign power interfere in our democracy."

Republicans, like southeast Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, said the impeachment articles were "phony" because Trump hadn't committed any crimes.

"We're here because the majority caucus — the Democratic caucus — has been hijacked by the radical left," Sensenbrenner said Wednesday. "They have wanted to reverse the course of the 2016 election ever since Donald J. Trump won that election."

Wisconsin has eight U.S. House districts, with four represented by Republicans, three represented by Democrats and one district vacant.

Two Republicans, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher and U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, announced their intentions to vote against impeachment on social media.

U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, an outspoken Trump supporter, joined Sensenbrenner in speaking out against impeachment Wednesday, saying Democrats were pushing it because they didn't like Trump's policies on issues ranging from immigration to food stamps.

"President Trump is keeping his campaign promises, and you hate him for that," Grothman said.

But Milwaukee Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore said the effort to impeach Trump was bigger than a policy dispute.

"We're not talking about a public policy dispute," Moore said from the House floor. "We're talking about a president who subverted national security by soliciting foreign interference in our elections. The exact thing our founding fathers feared."

The House passed two articles of impeachment, one on "abuse of power" and another on "obstruction of Congress."

It's now up to the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate to decide what kind of impeachment trial to conduct. GOP leaders there have made it clear they have no plans to remove Trump from office.

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) issued the following statement after Congress passed fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills:

“Our national debt recently passed $23 trillion, and Washington didn’t even blink. These appropriations bills fail to address our spending problem, and I could not in good conscience vote for either. However, one of the few positive provisions included in them is my bipartisan legislation to lower prescription drug prices – the CREATES Act. While I’m disappointed that Congress has passed up another opportunity to get our fiscal house in order, I am glad that Americans will have better access to more affordable medications.”

Background on the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act:
In order for a generic or biosimilar prescription to have FDA approval, the generic manufacturer must be able to compare its product to the brand-name product. Simply put, if the product is as safe and effective as the label, then the FDA can approve the generic.

Some generic manufacturers, however, have difficulty obtaining samples of medication from the brand-name company. This is because brand-name companies have an incentive to make it difficult for generic producers to obtain their brand-name products.

The CREATES Act gives generic manufacturers the ability to bring actions in federal court against brand-name companies that refuse to provide samples of their products for purchase and use in the generic approval process. In so doing, the CREATES Act helps to increase the likelihood of a generic product coming to the market so consumers have more affordable options.

The CREATES Act also gives the FDA more discretion for approving alternative safety protocols that meet the statutory standards already in place. This helps the FDA more efficiently process generic applications. In the end, this helps consumers, who will have more choices when selecting their medications.

According to a Congressional Budget Office estimate, the CREATES Act will save the federal government $3.9 billion on prescription spending.

More than 90 organizations representing consumers, physicians, pharmacists, hospitals, insurers, antitrust experts, and others support the CREATES Act. Supporters include AARP, Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, Consumer Reports, Public Citizen, American Hospital Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Patients for Affordable Drugs, and the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs.

By: Evan Frank of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

As Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler assumed command of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense during a change of command ceremony on Dec. 6 in Alabama, he was joined by people who made an impact on his life years ago when he lived in Hartland.

Karbler said he was touched to see familiar faces like Jim and Sharon Cull, Dave Morris, Curt and Heather Gundrum, Rick and Barb Delsman and Tom and Sue Sorenson.

"In Hartland, we don't have a lot of military touch points," Karbler said. "We don't have a base nearby or anything like that. For many of them, it was their first opportunity to see any kind of Army ceremony. (For) them to be a part of that, for me, it was huge. So many of them had so much to do with help bringing me up."

Karbler attended Bark River Elementary School and graduated from Arrowhead High School in 1983. He went on to graduate in 1987 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Defense Artillery branch.

Looking back at his time at Arrowhead, Karbler remembered the impact of people such as baseball coach Tim O'Driscoll, basketball coach Greg Smith and choir teacher Dennis Brooks.

"Part of what all those three gentlemen taught was the value of hard work and practice," Karbler said. "But you still had to execute that. Whether you're up on stage singing or whether you're on the field playing baseball or basketball, you still had to execute, and you had to perform. Putting those two things together, those teachers really helped me learn how to do that."

Karbler also took part in musicals, swing choir, marching band, band, student senate and more when he was at Arrowhead. When he applied to West Point, Karbler received a nomination from Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner.

"There was no application fee, so that was pretty cool," Karbler said. "I never had a job in high school because I was always playing sports, band, choir, all of those things. I knew I was going to get a good education and guaranteed a job when I graduated. Those were really the motivators up front."

At first, Karbler thought he would leave the Army after his five-year commitment, but his mind was changed after he traveled to Israel during Desert Storm.

"I got to see how the Patriot missile (defense) system worked," Karbler said. "It was phenomenal. I was like, 'Holy cow, this is great.' I loved what I was doing; it was combat. That had me hooked. I decided to stay in as long as the Army would keep me. My five-year plan now is 32-plus years."

Military service

In his current position with Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Karbler oversees a command that provides the Army and joint services with space, missile defense, and high-altitude capabilities and forces. It is a global command with forces in 23 locations across 11 time zones, with even one soldier/astronaut currently aboard the International Space Station.

Karbler most recently served as the chief of staff, U.S. Strategic Command at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. He was the principal adviser to the USSTRATCOM commander and deputy commander, and directed the activities of the command staff by developing and implementing policies and procedures in support of the command’s missions. He chaired numerous boards, oversaw the command's corporate process and served as the director of the commander’s staff.

Karbler also served as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command. Before that, he served as the director, Joint and Integration, Army G-8 at the Pentagon.

His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Israeli Air Force Combat Operations Badge.

"The Army has done wonders for taking care of me and my family," Karbler said. "I love serving the Army. I love working with soldiers and the missions that we do. I think Hartland did a big part of putting in a work ethic, putting in humility as part of my foundation that has helped me come as far as I've come from the Army."

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) introduced legislation that would help disable veterans regain their independence.

Rep. Sensenbrenner: “This is a no-brainer. Veterans who sacrifice so much for our country, especially those who must overcome serious injuries, should not have trouble getting the equipment they need to adjust back to civilian life. This legislation simply clarifies that the VA is permitted to cover these necessary items. I’m grateful for Congressman Gallego for joining me in sponsoring this bipartisan bill.”

Rep. Gallego: “Veterans with serious injuries deserve all of the support we can give them to ensure they are able to live a full and independent life. I’m proud to sponsor this bill with Congressman Sensenbrenner to allow veterans to access the equipment they need to overcome mobility challenges.”

Background:
Currently, the Department of Veterans Administration does not cover trailers for mobility equipment for disabled veterans. Items currently covered, such as mechanical lifts, only fit in large vehicles and leave many veterans without a viable option. H.R. 5447 would clarify that the VA does have the authority to cover non-articulating trailers for veterans who may need to transport their mobility devices. 

By: Joe Snell of the Wisconsin State Journal

WASHINGTON — Two of them have taken this vote before. For another it will be the most historic of his first term. Two of them are certain to vote yes, four of them will likely vote no, while one’s decision remains a mystery.

Wisconsin’s congressional delegation is bracing this week for only the third House vote to impeach a sitting president in American history.

Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, and Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, were on opposite sides of the last impeachment vote nearly 21 years ago against President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. Kind is the only member of Congress to have voted to authorize the House investigation of both Clinton and President Donald Trump, a Republican.

For Sensenbrenner, who is retiring at the end of this term, the vote will be one of the last major acts of his more than 40-year career in Congress. For Kind, whose district Trump won in 2016, it could be one of his last major votes depending on how his constituents respond to his decision in November’s election.

While Kind was a relative newcomer when he ultimately voted against impeaching Clinton in 1998, Sensenbrenner was among the House leaders.

He gave the one-hour opening Republican statement on the House floor and was one of 14 GOP members of the Judiciary Committee that voted to send a bill of impeachment to the full House for a vote. Then, during the debate leading to the GOP-controlled House vote, he served as a floor manager of the bill, one of only three from the Clinton proceedings still in office.

So far both are voting in step with their respective parties on Trump, with Sensenbrenner voting against the two articles of impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee Friday.

Sensenbrenner criticized the Democratic-led impeachment probe Wednesday calling it a “railroad job.” He also interrupted a question to accuse committee majority counsel Barry Berke of badgering a GOP witness. On Friday he was in the minority of the 23-17 vote to send the articles of impeachment to the House.

“These articles of impeachment are the weakest in history,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement after the committee vote. “They have set a dangerous precedent today, which undoubtedly weakens the fabric of our government.”

A Kind spokesman said he has been watching replays and reading transcripts of the hearing testimonies at night or between meetings in his office at the Longworth House Office Building, where the hearing rooms are also located.

“I firmly believe that impeachment should be the last resort,” Kind said in a statement. “But as a co-equal branch of government, Congress has a constitutional obligation to investigate any misconduct — regardless of political party.”

As a former special prosecutor, Kind said he believes the public hearing process has been necessary to “uncover all of the facts and evidence so that an appropriate remedy can be determined.”

The House Rules Committee will now meet to make the final preparation for the vote. If the House votes to adopt the articles of impeachment, they will move to a trial in the Senate, which will likely take place early next year.

Democrats: Case is crystal clear

After the House Intelligence Committee began its public impeachment hearings Nov. 13, Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth, would leave his office in the Longworth building at about 10 p.m. and spend the rest of his evenings catching up on highlights of the impeachment proceedings.

“I try to have it on between meetings while we might be going over stuff,” Pocan said in an interview.

Pocan’s schedule is typical of members of Congress who often juggle committee and constituent meetings while finding time to keep up with the impeachment process.

In two weeks of public impeachment hearings, the Intelligence Committee heard more than 30 hours of public testimony from 12 witnesses across seven hearings. The witnesses presented evidence that Trump had used his public office to coerce Ukraine’s new president to help him win the 2020 election.

To keep up with the testimony while at the office, Pocan would also monitor social media. While sitting through committee meetings on non-impeachment-related topics, Pocan received highlights and showed important moments from the impeachment hearings to members near him “because we’re all following it in that way.”

Like his Democratic colleague from Milwaukee, Rep. Gwen Moore, Pocan has been vocal about his support for impeachment. The information coming out of the testimonies has been “crystal clear,” he said.

“The only recourse you have left via the Constitution is Congress’ ability through the impeachment process,” Pocan said. “We felt that it was necessary, no matter what, to be able to proceed. No matter what we would find out, we had to do this process.”

Moore said in a statement that Trump “violated his sacred oath” by using his position for personal and political gain and that it is part of her duty as a lawmaker to uphold the Constitution.

“After he committed these wrongdoings, he obstructed Congress by defying subpoenas and blocking witness testimony,” Moore said. “These uncontested facts support the articles of impeachment. I will vote in support of these articles when they reach the House floor.”

GOP: Impeachment is a distraction

In the midst of the first day of public impeachment hearings last month, freshman Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, blasted the House impeachment process against Trump, knocking Democrats for wresting focus away from other issues.

Steil cited the rising costs of prescription drugs, securing the border, depleted military funding and the proposed trade agreement among the U.S., Mexico and Canada as important priorities for people in southeast Wisconsin that are taking a back seat to the impeachment. He also criticized Democrats for not talking about approving military funding that needs final approval in order to avoid a government shutdown.

“No one is talking about the urgency of this issue, though, because of the impeachment circus,” he said at the time, though since then many of those issues appear to have been resolved.

Nearly one year removed from replacing former House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, Steil joined the three other Republican House members to vote against the House resolution that set the ground rules for the investigation.

“Today’s resolution does not provide the president with due process protections that were afforded to both President Clinton and President Nixon,” Steil wrote in a tweet immediately before the House voted on the resolution. Later that day, the House passed the resolution 232-196, with all Republicans and two Democrats opposed.

Earlier in October, Steil put out an online survey asking constituents if they supported articles of impeachment against Trump. He did not release the results.

Steil, a lawyer who spent more than a decade working in the manufacturing sector in southeastern Wisconsin, was one of almost 90 new members sworn into the House in January.

“There are no political parties on the shop floor,” Steil said in an email. “You work with your co-workers to complete a job on time, within budget, and to achieve the goal at hand. It is frustrating to see House Democrats’ inaction on the real issues facing our communities.”

Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, offered similar criticism of impeachment in an interview. The hearings took away from issues like welfare proposals, the president’s new trade agreement and immigration that is “still at crisis level,” Grothman said.

“People who are focusing on the impeachment are trying to take our eye off of those more important issues,” Grothman said. “I’m looking to get back on the border in January or February when this is over to further equate myself with that situation.”

Pocan disputed their characterization. Despite juggling meetings and following the proceedings, he said it has been an especially productive time for the House. So far, the House has passed more than 400 bills, according to GovTrack.us, on pace to pass the 758 bills passed between January 2017 and January 2019.

“We can walk and chew gum,” Pocan said.

Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, challenged the grounds for impeachment in a recent TV interview. He noted that Wisconsin polls have showed the majority of Wisconsin voters oppose impeachment.

“I think it’s not going anywhere, it’s losing support in Wisconsin,” Gallagher said. “Among common-sense Wisconsinites, I think most people want us to just do our jobs and stop the endless partisan political warfare.”

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) issued the following statement after voting no on two articles of impeachment against President Trump during today's House Judiciary Committee markup:

“These articles of impeachment are the weakest in history. The Democrats will stop at nothing to remove a duly-elected President over a policy disagreement—not for bribery, treason, or any high crime and misdemeanor. They have set dangerous precedent today, which undoubtedly weakens the fabric of our government. The Democrats continue to make outlandish charges that the President will steal the 2020 election if he is not impeached, but what they’re really doing is trying to steal back the 2016 election from the 63 million people who elected Donald Trump.”

By: Zack Budryk of the Hill

Republicans and Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday clashed over comparisons between the impeachment case against President Trump and the one decades ago against President Clinton. 

The disagreement was led by two members of the panel who were both in Congress and on the Judiciary Committee during the Clinton era.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), who was also a congressional staffer during the Nixon impeachment drama, said most Democrats in the Clinton era did not see sex as an impeachable offense. She contrasted that position with the crimes that Democrats are accusing Trump of having committed: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Republicans in the Clinton era said the president had lied to Congress, but Lofgren argued he had just lied about an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

“I would just like to note that the argument that somehow lying about a sexual affair is an abuse of presidential power, but the misuse of presidential power to get a benefit somehow doesn’t matter,” Lofgren said. 

“Lying about sex, we could put Stormy Daniels’s case in front of us. We don’t believe that’s a high crime and misdemeanor,” she added. “And it is not before us, and it should not [be] before us, because it is not an abuse of presidential power.”

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) said Lofgren was missing the point of Clinton's impeachment.

“The important thing is that Bill Clinton lied to a grand jury,” responded Sensenbrenner, who was a key figure in the Clinton impeachment fight. 

“That is a crime. The article of impeachment that passed the House accused Bill Clinton of lying to a grand jury, a crime and something that obstructs the ability of the courts to get to the truth. This is not what is happening here. Big difference.”

The Judiciary panel is expected to vote on articles of impeachment against Trump later on Thursday.