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Minnesota's congressional delegation feels the impeachment heat

June 17, 2019 06:29 PM

No matter how much Democratic members of Minnesota congressional delegation want to focus on issues like health care or taxes, many of their constituents want them to focus on impeaching President Donald Trump.

"My job is to listen to everybody, and I explain why I believe we're following an appropriate process right now to investigate and then deliberate," Congressman Dean Phillips told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Monday. "But, in the meantime, we need to legislate."

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Phillips convened a roundtable discussion in Medicine Lake about the role the federal government can play in fighting invasive species in Minnesota lakes and rivers. The meeting stayed focused on that issue, but over the weekend he heard a lot about impeachment at a town hall meeting.

"I'm mindful of both perspectives," Phillips said of the pro and anti-impeachment arguments. "I understand why people are frustrated. I understand why people are terribly disappointed in this president. To those people I say, 'we have a process.' To those who say no impeachment no matter what, I say, 'you gotta read the Mueller report.'"

Phillips also said he was disturbed by President Trump telling ABC News he'd be open to accepting negative information about his opponents from foreign governments. However, he said impeachment would have to be based on what he's actually done.

"Just as any prosecutor has the responsibility to complete an investigation before he or she presses charges against anybody, that's exactly what we're doing," Phillips said.

The ABC interview was enough to push Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar toward urging the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings.

"I would support an impeachment proceeding beginning now, but I also understand they may want to be doing investigations leading up to it and I think they should be given the time to do that," Klobuchar told CNN last week.

So far, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has hesitated to start impeachment proceedings because she says she knows how divisive it could become.

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Tom Hauser

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