Congressional candidate Rick Olson, so far the only Republican seeking to take on Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN-02) in 2020, said this week that he would vote in favor of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Olson announced his candidacy in September and officially kicked off his campaign earlier this month. As an attorney and former Michigan state representative, he said in a statement that he “swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.”
“The Founding Fathers expected the members of the House to objectively cast their votes. With the president choosing not to present any evidence (in fact, prohibiting documents from being produced and witnesses from testifying that the House committees wanted), the only evidence on the record is for a vote [of] ‘yes,’” Olson said in a statement released Sunday.
Craig published an open letter to her constituents that same day announcing her support for both articles of impeachment.
“After reviewing the public testimony from non-partisan public servants and officials appointed to their roles by the president himself—as well as the final House Intelligence Committee report—I have decided that this week I will vote yes on both Articles of Impeachment,” Craig said. “No elected leader is above the law.”
Olson said it was “no surprise” for Craig to support impeachment, since she “has consistently voted with her Democrat caucus.”
“However, in this case I do not condemn her for this vote, as if I were in her shoes, I would feel I would also have to vote ‘yes’ to comply with my oath to uphold the Constitution,” he continued, saying it would be “hypocritical” for him to vote against impeachment.
“While no one wants to be in position to cast a vote like this, this is not a hard decision, despite the anguish that Angie Craig tries to project. It is only hard if you are worried about how it will look politically,” he concluded. “I could have tried to evade the reporter’s questions, but it is my hope that courage in one’s convictions and honesty are still regarded as virtues in today’s rancorous politics.”
President Trump won Craig’s district by just over a point in the 2016 election while Craig unseated Republican Jason Lewis in the 2018 midterms. She is one of 31 House Democrats representing a district carried by the president in 2016.
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