North Dakota’s member of the U.S. House of Representatives on Sunday was critical of Democrats’ efforts to impeach President Donald Trump, calling House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s work “the most narrowly tailored and controlled thing.”
Armstrong, a freshman Republican, was a featured guest on the national CBS show “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, spending time with host Margaret Brennan discussing the impeachment inquiries conducted by the House Intelligence Committee along with an outlook of the case’s future.
Armstrong, a lawyer from Dickinson, participated in depositions earlier this year and will be involved going forward as a member of the House Judiciary Committee. During his appearance on “Face the Nation,” he cited new polling and a recent report by Vanity Fair, saying Democrats’ focus on impeachment has not been a political success.
The Politico/Morning Consult poll showed that more independents are moving toward opposing impeachment and removal from office. A Washington, D.C. newspaper, The Hill, reported last week that 47% of independents are against the inquiry, a 10-point jump from a week previous. Support for the inquiry among independents moved downward seven points to 40%.
The report in Vanity Fair notes that independents tend to be moderate and pay less attention to newsbreaks and politics; therefore, independents may be the key to the 2020 presidential election.
Meanwhile, Armstrong’s home state gave 63% support to Trump in the 2016 election.
“When you come from a state like mine and you continue to work through these things, as a political exercise I don't think it’s been a success for the Democrats over the last two weeks,” Armstrong said on “Face the Nation.”
Brennan asked Armstrong: “Do you have any indication of what the timeline is and what this is going to look like as those articles of impeachment are drafted?”
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“I don’t, and I think as we continue to move forward, the one thing that is true is that the Democrats are going to lose more and more control over this. At some point in time, Democrats are going to have to enforce some of the rules they passed in their own legislation,” he said. “Regardless of how you feel about this, this has been the most narrowly tailored and controlled thing by Chairman Schiff, both in the depositions, of which I was a part, and the Intelligence Committee. But as it moves over to the Judiciary Committee, they are going to lose more and more of that control.”
Armstrong’s appearance lasted about five minutes. After a few minutes of banter about the future of the hearings, Brennan asked him a series of questions about President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump allegedly sought help with an investigation of the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in exchange for military aid. Brennan also asked Armstrong about Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Brennan asked, “Would you be comfortable with a Democrat or any other president asking a foreign government to investigate a political opponent?”
Armstrong: “The facts of this thing don’t change. This president was interested in how Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. He was interested in the corruption in Ukraine. He has always been skeptical of foreign aid. There was no favor. There was nothing that happened. The aid was released.”
Brennan countered: “So the answer is you are comfortable?”
Armstrong: “I think there is only one person who gets away with talking the way he does, and that’s President Trump. That’s why the American people elected him. As you see through all of these conversations that have occurred is these career federal employees ..."
Brennan interrupted: “So no one but President Trump should be allowed to get away with this?”
Armstrong: “No, I just think that President Trump communicates in a way — the reason he got elected is because he doesn't do things the way everybody else does them. You can tell that is a frustration from where we talk about career federal employees versus President Trump. President Trump said the call was perfect. President Zelensky has said on numerous occasions that he didn’t feel pressured.”
“And you accept all of this?” Brennan asked.
“I do,” Armstrong said. “I think you have the transcript and you have the two principals on the call that say that. After that, everything else is really just noise.”