FRESHMAN OFF FENCE
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
Otsego County’s Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, Tuesday, Sept. 24, joined at least 61 Democratic congressmen who changed their minds over the weekend and now support impeachment of President Trump.
“Having taken an oath of office before God and my fellow citizens to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, I can only conclude that Congress move forward with articles of impeachment,” the congressman said in a statement released at 8:23 a.m.
The change of position was prompted by the president having “admitted to soliciting the Ukranian president to investigate a political rival. In doing so, (Trump) used the power of the presidency to pressure a foreign government to help him win an election,” the statement said.
In developments that afternoon, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the House Democrats will launch an impeachment investigation into the president. That evening, the president said on Wednesday he would release a full transcript of his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Within minutes of Delgado announcing his decision, the National Republican Congressional Committee issued a statement saying the freshman congressman “jumped on the socialist Democrats’ baseless efforts,” adding, “In a district President Trump won by more than 6 points, Antonio Delgado’s decision to pursue impeachment will be a political death sentence.”
The New York Times was reporting today Delgado was one of 61 congressmen who shifted into the pro-impeachment column in the past few days. Overall, 196 congressman now support impeachment, 77 oppose it, and 162 have not yet returned The Times’ calls, the newspaper reported.
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Tony German of Oneonta, who is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Delgado next year, said his prospective opponent “joined the AOC wing of the Democratic party” by calling for impeachment.
“This is a far cry from the bipartisan and unifying message we heard in the Congressman’s slick campaign commercials less than two years ago,” German said. “He was elected to work across the aisle and govern. Today, the Congressman abandoned his commitment to governance in order to appease the most extreme elements of his base. This is exactly the type of behavior that inspired me to run. Politicians will never fix Washington.”
The Otsego County Democratic Party issued a statement praising Delgado’s “judgment and commitment to the critical oversight role” in changing his mind and now supporting President Trump’s impeachment.
“Beginning an impeachment investigation is the appropriate response when there is credible evidence that the laws of this country may have been violated by a sitting President,” it continued.
But Republican County Chairman Vince Casale said the first-term congressmen is simply “appealing to a small angry group of socialist liberals who control his re-election.”
Casale said, “I wish the Congressman would focus on doing the work of the people of his district instead of taking us down another rabbit hole. It wasn’t enough to waste the taxpayer’s time and money on the Muller investigation, now we are on to a new bogus charge against the President.”