First Republican member of Congress voices support for Trump impeachment probe

Rep. Mark Amodei on Friday became the first Republican member of Congress to publicly support the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

“Using government agencies to, if it’s proven, to put your finger on the scale of an election, I don’t think that’s right,” Amodei, who represents Nevada’s Second Congressional District, told the Nevada Independent. “If it turns out that it’s something along those lines, then there’s a problem.”

In a July 25 telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump sought an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden. Democrats have begun an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s actions as well as a possible attempt by his administration to obscure the subject of the phone call.

Hours after the Nevada Independent published its story, however, Amodei released a statement to clarify his position on the probe into Trump’s actions.

“Following that call, Nevada Independent reporter Humberto Sanchez released an article. The first paragraph of Mr. Sanchez’s article reads: ‘Rep. Mark Amodei supports the House’s inquiry into whether President Donald Trump should be impeached, but is withholding judgment on whether Trump has crossed the legal line.’

“This is absolutely an accurate statement in the sense that the House and Senate have both unanimously supported the resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the whistleblower complaint received on August 12, 2019, by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, should be transmitted immediately to the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives,” Amodei said in his statement. “It is also accurate that the White House supports this same resolution. In no way, shape, or form, did I indicate support for impeachment.”

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP, File)

According to a running count compiled by the New York Times, 225 Democrats have come out in favor of the impeachment inquiry. Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican who became an independent following a clash with Trump, also supports the inquiry, but Amodei is, so far, the only Republican to publicly back it.

Before running for Congress in 2011, Amodei served as chairman of the Nevada Republican Party. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to fill a seat vacated by Dean Heller, who was elected to the U.S. Senate. Amodei has won reelection four times, most recently in 2018, when he defeated Democrat Clint Koble by a margin of 16.4 percent.

“Let’s put it through the process and see what happens,” Amodei said of the inquiry, according to the Nevada Independent.

Update: This story was updated to include Rep. Amodei’s statement.

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