(HAMILTON)-  In response to Speaker Pelosi’s announcement that the U.S. House of Representatives would enter into a formal impeachment inquiry over President Trump, Butler County Democratic Party Chair Brian Hester issued the following statement:

“Every Member of Congress and the United States Senate begins every term swearing an oath the Constitution, not a President or a political party.  With ten separate incidents of obstruction of justice in the Mueller report and now the latest intelligence whistleblower report about the President and Ukraine, I applaud the House for undertaking its solemn constitutional duty to hold a lawless President publicly accountable.  I hope Ohio Republicans put country above party and hold Trump to the same standard they had for President Clinton.”

What Ohio Republicans have said in the past about the standard for impeachment:

“President Clinton obstructed justice by encouraging others to lie in judicial proceedings. He sought to influence the testimony of a potentially adverse witness, with job assistance. . . Finally, in constructing this cover-up, President Clinton used the power of his office to mislead, impede, and obstruct a federal grand jury, a civil deposition, and the American people. He used government resources, including government attorneys and staff to disseminate his deceitful story to the public. . . Allowing the president’s actions to go unpunished would gravely damage the office of the president, our judicial system, and our country . . . [B]urying our heads in the sand and refusing to acknowledge the gravity of the president’s crimes would set a far more dangerous precedent. Given the president a pass or a censure would set a dangerous precedent for future presidents.

“I ask my colleagues to search their hearts and answer this question: What message are we sending the youth of America if we abdicate our constitutional duty and allow . . . obstruction of justice and abuse of power to go unpunished? When we cast our votes, we are not voting as Republicans or Democrats, we’re voting as Americans. Our allegiance does not lie with any one president, but with our country. Our charge is not handed down from any one political party, but from the Constitution.” – Congressman Steve Chabot [Source: CNN Transcript: Opening Statement of Rep. Chabot, House Judiciary Committee hearing (12/10/1998)].

“[T]hese specific criminal acts were committed within a larger context, a larger context of a documented pattern of indefensible behavior–behavior that shows a reckless disregard for the law and for the rights of others . . . How can we allow a man who has obstructed justice and committed perjury to remain as the chief law enforcement officer of our country? How can we call ourselves a nation of laws and leave a man in office who has flouted those laws? We define ourselves as a people not just by what we hold up, not just by what we revere, but we also define ourselves by what we tolerate. I submit that this is something we simply, as a people, cannot tolerate.” – then U.S. Senator Mike DeWine on his vote in favor of removing President Clinton from office.  [Source: Congressional Record (02/12/1999) starting on page S1623.]

“I believe the long-term consequences to this country of not acting on these serious charges before us far outweigh the consequences of following what the Constitution provides for and bringing this matter to trial in the United States Senate.” – then U.S. Congressman Rob Portman in support of impeaching President Bill Clinton [Source: C-SPAN (House Session on 12/18/1998).]

“Because of this president’s actions and the effect that … obstruction of justice and abuse of presidential power – the effect they can have on the country – that it was my responsibility to vote to impeach.”  – U.S. Congressman and House Clinton impeachment manager Steve Chabot on when a Member of Congress is duty-bound to impeach a President.  [Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (1/1/2019), “Trump impeachment: What Rep. Steve Chabot said about impeaching a president – in 1998.”]