Mike Simpson Forum

Idaho Republican congressman Mike Simpson speaks during a forum earlier this year at Boise Centre West.

U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson called the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump “a sham,” in an interview on 670 KBOI.

Simpson described the state of Washington, D.C., as “a circus” after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., launched the formal inquiry in September. Simpson, in the interview with Nate Shelman, said Pelosi made the move to “satisfy her far left.”

Pelosi’s announcement followed reports that Trump requested Ukraine investigate his political opponent Joe Biden’s son, and threatened to withhold aid over it. Trump has denied that charge, but acknowledged he temporarily blocked the funds, the Associated Press reports. Trump’s private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has publicly urged Ukrainian officials to investigate the Bidens.

Simpson called the inquiry unfair, and said the past two times in American history when articles of impeachment were filed against the president, it was by a bipartisan vote.

Simpson also accused Democrats of opening an impeachment inquiry to try to find a crime Trump was involved in. Past impeachment inquiries were launched because of a specific crime Congress wanted to investigate, he said.

“We can’t find any underlying crime that they’re trying to investigate,” Simpson said.

Idaho freshman Republican Rep. Russ Fulcher and Sen. Jim Risch have called the impeachment inquiry a political attack attempting to delegitimize Trump prior to the 2020 election. Fulcher told Shelman in a previous interview he was “a little bit offended” by Pelosi’s announcement because she did not seek a vote from Congress before launching the inquiry.

“This is a continued political attack to try to keep this administration from proceeding,” Fulcher said.

On Thursday, the House passed a rules package for the impeachment probe, the chamber’s first vote on the investigation, the Associated Press reports.

The article states: “By 232-196, lawmakers have approved the procedures they’ll follow as weeks of closed-door interviews with witnesses evolve into public committee hearings and — almost certainly — votes on whether the House should recommend Trump’s removal. All voting Republicans opposed the package. Every voting Democrat but two supported it.”

Erin Bamer is the Nampa/Caldwell reporter. Contact her at 208-465-8193, or ebamer@idahopress.com. Follow on Twitter @ErinBamer.

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