Smith, Sasse react with caution to impeachment talk

Adrian Smith speaks at the Star-Herald recently.

SCOTTSBLUFF — Lawmakers are proceeding with caution with the announcement Tuesday that House Democrats intend to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as recently as last week had indicated she didn’t believe there was enough public support for impeachment based on the findings of the Mueller report, newly-released allegations say Trump asked Ukraine’s leader to call for an investigation of work done for the country by former vice-president Joe Biden’s son. The official complaint was released Thursday morning. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Republican Nebraska Congressional Rep. Adrian Smith told the Star-Herald that Pelosi was quick to jump on the opportunity.

“Without even seeing the transcripts or the complaint, Pelosi rushed into an impeachment inquiry,” Smith said. “This impeachment distraction is taking away from the issues, which the American people sent us to Congress to address. It is disappointing the Speaker is willing to put everything else on hold to try and remove the duly elected president, all for her own political purposes.”

Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse emphasized that everyone — Democrats, Republicans, the administration and the media — needs to slow down.

​“We need to slow down,” Sasse told the Star-Herald. “This place is terrible at deliberation. Democrats ought not to be using the word ‘impeach’ before they had the whistleblower complaint or read any of the transcript. Republicans ought not to be rushing to circle the wagons and say there’s nothing there when there’s obviously a lot that’s very troubling there. The administration ought not to be attacking the whistleblower as some talking points suggest they plan to do. The media, humbly, should not pretend this story is, you know, about something that’s going to be resolved in the next two hours.

“Done right with lots of deliberation this is going to take a long time but there’s obviously some very troubling things here. But I think the partisan tribalism that’s always insta-certain is a terrible idea. There are real troubling things here. Republicans ought not just be circling the wagons and Democrats ought not be using words like ‘impeach’ before they knew anything about the actual substance.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee actually does its work in a deliberative, slow and cautious way, and that’s what the Senate is supposed to do.”

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Mark McCarthy is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9049 or via email at

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