ST. JOSEPH — U.S. Rep. Fred Upton didn’t cross the party line on Thursday, voting against a resolution that formalizes the impeachment inquiry.
Despite no Republican support, the U.S. House passed the resolution due to overwhelming Democratic support.
The resolution establishes the procedures of the impeachment inquiry to determine whether President Donald Trump abused his power by asking the leader of Ukraine to investigate Democratic primary contender Joe Biden while the U.S. withheld aid.
Upton, R-St. Joseph, said the House resolution continues a secretive and unfair process.
“The resolution itself is a little inside baseball, but as I view it, the Democrats appear to be trying to put the genie back in the bottle after they already started this investigation which has only featured closed-door hearings and testimonies available to a select number of members,” Upton said in an emailed statement.
Upton said he has supported an investigation to get the facts about Trump’s July phone call with the Ukrainian president.
“I have been absolutely clear that from the beginning I wanted to see an open, transparent, and fact-based process because I have been troubled by what has come out,” Upton said in the release. “Legitimate questions remain to be answered. But I have been frustrated by how closed-off the process has been so far. This is not how this is supposed to work in any committee, and I believe the resolution we voted on today would fail to put an end to the lack of transparency we have seen throughout this investigation.”
Upton was among the Michigan’s GOP House delegation that sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday requesting access to materials shared in closed-door depositions held in committees they do not serve on.
“While the resolution, House Res. 660, attempts to bring a veneer of transparency to the proceedings, it falls far short and instead continues to undermine the bedrock principle of due process,” the Michigan lawmakers wrote in the letter. “As members of the Michigan delegation who do not sit on your self-determined impeachment inquiry committees...we have been prevented vital access and material shared in the process. As a result, our constituents have been left in the dark.”
Rep. Justin Amash, a former Michigan Republican who became an Independent earlier this year, voted for the impeachment resolution.
Despite backing the president, Upton has on occasion broken with Trump.
During the 2016 campaign, Upton told a Holland radio station he would not support Trump, when he was the presumptive GOP nominee. Upton was also critical of Trump’s imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum in 2018, and of Trump’s at times incendiary rhetoric.
However, leading up to Thursday’s vote on the inquiry, Upton was included in a photo Tuesday with the president, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Tom Emmer at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The photo, which was tweeted through McCarthy’s Twitter account, included the text “Great night with the President. Republicans are united!”
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