Rep. Green on impeachment 'I can't imagine the founders would support anything like this'

Posted at 5:53 PM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-11 11:27:36-04

Representative Mark Green (R-TN) says opposing the impeachment inquiry has less to do with supporting the President and more to do with sticking up for his district and the rule of law.

"I'm very, very frustrated, disappointed, and angry at the fact that that the speaker of the House thinks that the people of Tennessee don't matter in this decision. She's initiated a process without a vote," said Rep. Green, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). "The 800,000 people in my district have a say when I cast a vote and they don't have a say until I cast a vote for them."

That lack of a vote has been a bone of contention among Rep. Green and other Republicans in the House. Though Democrats disagree, they argue that a vote is essential.

"We're talking about probably the most extreme remedy that our constitution affords for taking someone out of office. A person elected by the people of my district, they resoundingly supported President Trump in the election," he said, calling the process "profoundly insulting for our basic democracy."

"I can't imagine the founders would support anything like this."

"I've heard nothing yet that would suggest a high crime or misdemeanor. I think the President has every reason to look into corruption in previous elections," referring to the President's request for an investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of presidential candidate and former V.P. Joe Biden. When Newschannel 5 asked if he found it appropriate that the President requested the investigation from a foreign government, Rep. Green said it was something we do all the time.

"If he did something I felt was against the law, was a substantial crime, I would support a process. But it would have to be a fair process. He's got to have his day in court. This notion that everyone gets due process but the President is ridiculous,"

He also supports the White House's decision to not comply with the impeachment inquiry as its currently being conducted. "I think based on the fact that there was no vote" and the fact that the President wouldn't have the ability to face his accuser or summon witnesses made him "insulted for the sake of democracy."

"Based on that I'm comfortable with him not participating."

Rep. Green argued that the phone call was emblematic of the President's style with foreign leaders. "That's just the President being the leader that he's been invited by the American people to be. Do we drill down and critique how he handles Putin versus how he handles Kim Jong Un? Well we can all have differences of opinion but I don't think it's anything we would ever impeach someone over. If someone doesn't like it they can always go to the poll and vote for the other guy next time around."

While he wasn't troubled by the Ukrainian phone call, there is a piece of the President's foreign policy that gives him pause: the withdrawal from Syria.

"It's probably the first time where I've had a significant disagreement with the President but this is a significant disagreement," he said. "It is a combination of the connection we have with the Kurds and the blood we've spilled together fighting ISIS" as well as "a perception issue of 'who is America with its allies?"

Representative Mark Green is a former Army officer and surgeon representing Tennessee's 7th district, which stretches from Williamson County to Montgomery County.

We also spoke with Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) about the impeachment inquiry. See his comments here.