Rice and Suozzi divided on impeachment

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U.S. House Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) and Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) are split on impeachment.(Photos courtesy of the officials)

The debate over whether or not President Donald Trump should be impeached is driving a wedge in the Democratic Party nationwide, including between the two members of Congress who claim Nassau County as their district.

The split was brought to light again after Robert Mueller, former special counsel to the Justice Department investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, testified before Congress last Wednesday. 

U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) said in a tweet last Wednesday that Congress “must begin impeachment proceedings.” 

“Once again, Mueller laid out extensive evidence of obstruction by the president and made it clear that the president hasn’t been exonerated,” she tweeted. 

Unlike Rice, who also voiced opposition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s return to the speaker post, U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said he would continue to follow Pelosi’s leadership on the matter.

The member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of both Democratic and Republican House representatives, said he shares the speaker’s concern that Democrats must have an “airtight case” before possibly beginning impeachment proceedings. 

Suozzi said he is engaged in and supports the continued investigation by his colleagues on the House Judiciary, Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Oversight, Financial Services, and Ways and Means committees of which he is a member.

“While Congress has a constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the executive branch,” Suozzi said, “we must not be distracted from doing our jobs as legislators and work to solve the problems we face in our country.”

Nationwide, the latest numbers from The New York Times roundup of House Democrats shows 104 Democrats in support of impeachment and another 56 who have indicated that they do not support impeachment at all at this time or are undecided on the matter.  The publication is awaiting the response of 75 democratic House representatives as of Monday. 

Mueller fielded questions from both sides of the aisle for a total of seven hours last week. The general consensus on the part of Democrats and Republicans was the testimony was uneventful with no home runs batted in for either camp.

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