Eighth District Rep. Pete Stauber disregarded the whistleblower's complaints and called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "irresponsible," in a statement Thursday, responding to the formal impeachment inquiry brought this week against President Donald Trump.
"Immediately after its release, I reviewed the entire unredacted transcript of President Trump’s telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky," Stauber, R-Hermantown, said. "There was no quid pro quo and no mention of withholding military aid to the Ukraine. Impeachment is not to be taken lightly and I think it was irresponsible for the Speaker to bring forward an impeachment inquiry without having any shred of evidence that wrongdoing occurred."
Scandal surrounding President Trump erupted in recent days following a White House whistleblower's report that suggested the president was withholding military aid unless Ukraine further investigated dealings in that country by the son of a Trump Democratic political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
“There was no quid pro quo and no mention of withholding military aid to the Ukraine.”
At this point, Stauber's support of the president is well-known. Stauber's history as a candidate and congressman have included multiple interactions and alignments with the president.
Stauber introduced Trump when he came to Duluth in 2018 to campaign on Stauber's behalf. Stauber has visited the president on multiple other occasions, including to discuss funding for the Duluth-Superior port and at a campaigning fundraising event in Minnesota.
Stauber has also made trips to Israel and the U.S. border with Mexico to reinforce Trump positions. In both cases, Stauber said the visits were fact-finding. But the trips also stood out as showcases of support for President Trump's ardent support of a sovereign Israel and his position that an immigration crisis exists at the border with Mexico.
Stauber further denounced the impeachment process by echoing 7th District Rep. Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat who also came out against impeachment this week.
"All impeachment will do is further divide our already divided nation," Stauber said.
Peterson said earlier this week: “I believe it will be a failed process that will end up even further dividing our country and weakening our ability to act together."
Stauber has repeatedly brushed off calls to condemn the president. Most recently, in July, when Trump tweeted that four congresswomen, including Minnesota's Ilhan Omar, should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," many viewed the tweet as racist. Stauber denied that charge, and redirected the controversy by saying, "I did not run for Congress to get distracted by the name-calling happening on both sides of the aisle."
He did so again this week.
"My constituents didn’t send me to Congress to engage in political games," he said on Thursday. "They sent me here to work on the most pressing issues facing the nation, so I will continue to focus on protecting Social Security and Medicare, modernizing our crumbling infrastructure, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, generating economic growth in our communities, and creating fairer trade deals for the American worker.”