Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, declined through a spokeswoman to comment on the ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump as hearings moved from the House Intelligence Committee to the Judiciary Committee last week.
“She’s reading and watching like everyone else, but she’s not going to give a play-by-play as events unfold,” the congresswoman’s spokesperson, Angie Riesterer, wrote in an email.
Herrera Beutler also declined to comment on the contents of a report released Dec. 2 by her Republican colleagues in the House, laying out the strategy for defending Trump from impeachment.
In the email, Riesterer wrote that Herrera Beutler would wait to see articles of impeachment before passing judgement on the specifics of the impeachment process, should the House decide to move forward.
“She’s not on the Judiciary or Intelligence Committees, she didn’t participate in writing the reports and she won’t be taking a vote on a report. They’ve all been entered into the record, and Jaime is reviewing the entire record,” Riesterer wrote. “If a vote does occur, it will be on articles of impeachment, which we haven’t seen yet.”
The Democratic Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, indicated to reporters Thursday that the House would move forward with drafting impeachment articles, setting up a vote before Christmas.
In an October conversation with The Columbian’s editorial board, Herrera Beutler said that deciding whether to impeach a sitting president would be among the most important votes she could cast in Congress.
She also called for the House to formally open an impeachment investigation in order to grant Republicans, the minority party, power to subpoena witnesses.
However, the congresswoman voted against opening the impeachment investigation on Oct. 31. She said she disagreed with the process, which she said were “limiting due process rights, fairness to all sides, and full access to information.”
A sticking point, she continued, was that the proceedings would start in the House Intelligence Committee for a closed-door fact-finding phase.
“Instead of open hearings in the Judiciary Committee where impeachment investigations have traditionally been conducted, the House Intelligence Committee, which holds its meetings in a top secret facility, will have the lead role in this investigation,” Herrera Beutler wrote in a post on her Facebook page after the vote.