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Like Watergate, WA Rep. Heck sees GOP coming around on impeachment

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff (left) and Republican Rep. Devin Nunes (right). (Photo by Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images)

Guided by history, Washington State Congressman Denny Heck sees a path forward for convincing his Republican colleagues that impeachment is the right path forward.

Rep. Heck on how Congress may pursue evidence against Trump

“Because (Republicans) weren’t convinced yesterday, doesn’t mean they won’t be convinced over time,”  Heck, who sits on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross. “People like to point to where we were in a similar time during the Watergate hearings, where Republicans were pretty resistant to the idea of impeaching President Nixon. But as the evidence mounted, there became an inflection point.”

“In fact, they did come to conclude (impeachment) was best for America was to proceed,” he added.

Wednesday’s proceedings provided the public with an early revelation, with acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor claiming that one of his staffers had overheard a potentially incriminating phone call between Gordon Sondland and President Trump. That call allegedly saw Trump asking Sondland — the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union — about the status of investigations by Ukraine asked for by the president.

For Heck, he views that particular bit of testimony as the proverbial smoking gun.

“It shows the president was very mindful and directing himself that there be follow-up to this conversation that he had with President Zelensky, in which he uttered the now infamous words, ‘I would like you to do us a favor,'” he described.

“I think there’s a mountain of evidence to suggest that the president did it,” he continued.

Ross: Who’s really being impeached?

As evidence continues to mount, Heck labels this particular fight as one that could define the future of the country’s standing on both at home and abroad.

“Is this a precedent we want to stand, whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican in the White House?” he posited. “Does it not weaken us as a nation in terms of standing on the international stage and our ability to advance democratic values, and have a modicum of national security for ourselves that is rooted in bilateral and multilateral relationships?”

Public hearings will continue Friday with testimony from Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who claims President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani conspired to have her removed from her post last spring.

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