© 2022 WMKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Click here to become a member of Morehead State Public Radio (WMKY - 90.3FM)

Kentucky GOP In Lockstep On Impeachment; Lexington Protesters Urge Removal

A demonstrator holds an American flag behind a speaker at Lexington's "Nobody Is Above The Law" rally downtown on Tuesday, December 17, 2019.
A demonstrator holds an American flag behind a speaker at Lexington's "Nobody Is Above The Law" rally downtown on Tuesday, December 17, 2019.

Kentucky Republicans in the U.S. House lined up behind their party's standard-bearer as the chamber debated articles of impeachment Wednesday. Back in Lexington, demonstrators held a rally backing the historic Democratic-led inquiry.

A demonstrator holds an American flag behind a speaker at Lexington's "Nobody Is Above The Law" rally downtown on Tuesday, December 17, 2019.
Credit Josh James / WUKY
/
A demonstrator holds an American flag behind a speaker at Lexington's "Nobody Is Above The Law" rally downtown on Tuesday, December 17, 2019.

According to Morning Consult, Trump’s net approval rating has slipped 20 percentage points in Kentucky since he took office. Even factoring in that decline, however, the president still enjoys a net approval of 14 points. And District 1 Rep. James Comer told House colleagues during the hours-long floor debate that his constituents aren’t happy with what they see coming from Washington.

"The people I represent in Kentucky, the very people who voted for this president to enact change and fight for this country, are appalled at the charade they've seen in the House in recent months," the Republican said. 

Sixth District Rep. Andy Barr also argued Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian leader doesn't meet the threshold for impeachment, saying, “If there was a naked request from a president to invite foreign interference with nothing else going on, that’s totally different. What we have here is not that.”

Louisville Rep. John Yarmuth, the state's lone Democrat in Congress, has said he’s saddened no Republicans appear ready to call for the resignation of a corrupt president.

As debate raged in the House, sharp divisions remained in the Senate over how to initiate a likely trial, with Sen. Mitch McConnell claiming Democratic leadership in the chamber is seeking to break with precedent set in the 1990s.

McConnell has rejected his colleague, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s, bid to call witnesses from the Trump administration in the same resolution that lays out the rules of the Senate trial. The GOP leader charged his political opponents with attempting to “choreograph the middle of a potential trial before we’ve even heard opening arguments.” 

While the majority leader said the move diverges from precedent set 20 years ago during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, Schumer says it’s statements from McConnell that have soured any slim chance of bipartisanship.

"I am not an impartial juror," the powerful Republican told the press. "This is a political process."

The lawmaker’s comments about coordinating impeachment strategy with the White House have also stoked outrage back home. One-time Democratic House candidate Nancy Jo Kemper was among the most passionate speakers at a chilly pro-impeachment rally held in downtown Lexington Tuesday night.

"Can there be any greater treason than to lead others to violate their honor, their integrity, their sworn duty?" she asked the audience. "I say tonight to Sen. Mitch McConnell: You've been elected to serve as our representative in what you call the greatest deliberative body in the history of humankind and we call on you, therefore, to do your duty."

The demonstration, part of a national movement dubbed "Nobody Is Above The Law," included a march down six blocks. 

Copyright 2019 WUKY

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now known as Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and Program Director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.