- The Washington Times
Wednesday, October 16, 2019

House Democrats are looking to keep impeachment separate from the issue of Syria and Turkey as they look to get bipartisan support in condemning President Trump’s decision on Wednesday.

When asked if the president’s decision to pull troops from Northern Syria, endangering Kurdish allies, helped bolster the Democrats’ argument for impeachment, House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries pushed back, saying the condemnation shows they can multitask.

“I don’t think we’ve connected one thing with the other,” he said. “Congress has a responsibility to legislate, Congress has the need to litigate, Congress has a constitutional obligation to investigate. We will do all three. And we will do it well.”

Rep. Andy Kim, New Jersey Democrat and member of the newly founded National Security Caucus, told reporters that during the two-week break his constituents were much more concerned with the Syria issue than with impeachment.

“But the bottom line is the reckless decision of this president sends a very clear message to those friends into those partners. And that is the American handshake doesn’t matter. That we won’t be there for you when you need us. And that’s a dangerous message,” Democratic Rep. Jason Crow said of the Syrian issue.

Republicans, who have been staunchly defending the president on the impeachment front, have strongly pushed back against the Syrian troop withdrawal, with one member removing his official support for Mr. Trump’s reelection.

Democrats are confident that frustrated Republicans will join them to jointly chastise Mr. Trump.

“We are hoping with this resolution, not only to be able to apply pressure, but to, to give that signal to world leaders that the United States Congress understands the dangerousness of the course that this president has put us on,” Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clarke said.

Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told reporters Wednesday the House will also take up a stringent sanctions resolution, though there’s no set timeline for a vote until the resolution is finalized.

Democrats are laser-focused on the Syria issue Wednesday, ahead of a bipartisan meeting with the president, after all eyes were on the decision against holding an impeachment inquiry vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Democratic leadership will attend the meeting.

However, Mr. Hoyer is not confident that Wednesday’s meeting will be “constructive.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Trump defended his decision to pull back American troops, saying Syria was “not our problem.”

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.