MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The new year of 2020 Wednesday brought new thoughts from Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen.
During a prayer breakfast near Memphis International Airport, Rep. Cohen made his first public comments locally since the Democrats voted to impeach President Donald Trump before Christmas.
The Democrat reflected on his impeachment vote in the House and laid out some predictions for the Senate impeachment trial expected later this month in Washington.
“We have gone far, far, far away from the principles of our founding fathers,” Rep. Cohen said.
He admitted his optimism is damaged as the calendar flips to 2020. 2019 ended with a bruising impeachment battle in the nation’s capital, a Democratic majority in the house impeached President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Democratic House members argued President Trump interfered in the 2020 election, when he asked the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals during a phone call in July.
“Elections are for you and me, they are for Americans, they are for American citizens to decide who becomes the president of the United States,” Rep. Cohen said. “That’s why the president was impeached.”
No Republican voted to impeach President Trump, including fellow Memphis Congressman David Kustoff.
“What we have witnessed since September 24 when the inquiry was announced, is that the evidence we have seen is not compelling, it’s not overwhelming,” Rep. Kustoff said.
After his public comments, Rep. Cohen defended the House impeachment process and responded to critics who said Democrats acted too quickly.
“The president should have had the witnesses come and testify, he shouldn’t have required the fight in the courts, he just refused all witnesses and documents, never been done before,” Rep. Cohen said.
Rep. Cohen added Wednesday morning he believes enough Republican senators could demand the upcoming impeachment trial include witnesses and documents. He also reiterated Wednesday morning his plans to run for re-election in the House in 2022 and 2024.
Memphis clergy also made their own call to action during the prayer breakfast.
“We’ve come to a moment in this city that we are going to need 2020 vision,” Rev. Wade Bryant of Monumental Baptist Church said.
“I believe that our city can find a pathway forward in our community if we have one vision,” Bishop Linwood Dillard of Citadel of Deliverance COGIC said.