In response to the House of Representatives voting along party lines to make the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump official, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) said on Sunday morning that while he believes the process has been “unfair” he hasn’t “closed the door completely” on approving articles of impeachment.
During an appearance on NBC News’ Meet the Press, Cole took the position nearly all Republicans on Capitol Hill have embraced, claiming that the president pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals does not rise to the level of impeachment.
Meet the Press host Chuck Todd went on to ask Cole if there was a possible “middle ground” that Democrats could have pursued in terms of condemning the Ukraine scandal, wondering aloud if perhaps censuring Trump “would be a more appropriate way to go.”
“Look, if I were the Democrats, I would've chosen that,” the Oklahoma Republican replied. “But again, that’s up to them as to how they want to proceed. Personally, you know, I don't see anything here that I'm likely to have censured the president for. So again, fair enough. I think, I think they've made the decision they want to go for the whole ball of wax and it's not going to work.”
Asked about Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI), a congressman who left the Republican Party after he voiced his support for impeachment, Cole went on to say that while he regards Amash as a friend he just “profoundly disagrees with him on this issue.”
“I think he’s wrong,” he added. “Look, if I believed everything the Democrats are saying, I would still say this isn't an impeachable offense.”
The NBC News anchor concluded the interview by asking Cole if after he’s had a chance to read all the depositions in the inquiry if there was a chance he could possibly change his mind.
“Have you closed the door completely to an article of impeachment?” Todd asked.
“No,” Cole replied. “Well, you never close the door completely to anything like this.”
“But again, we just adopted a process that every single Republican said was unfair,” he continued. “We didn’t do the Clinton process or the Nixon process. So, I mean, I think the way the Democrats have handled this has sort of pushed Republicans together, whether they intended to or not. Now, am I open to listening? Of course. But all I know is that everything so far that's been presented behind closed doors, every Republican that has heard it did not vote this impeachment process.”