WATCH: Congressman Conaway: 'I Hurt Congressman Adam Schiff's Feelings'
SAN ANGELO, TX — Congressman Mike Conaway visited the San Angelo LIVE! offices Friday and talked politics with LIVE! Publisher Joe Hyde. In the 20-minute interview broadcasted live from our offices, Conaway talked about Trump and the attempts to impeach the president by the Democrats.
On March 28, Conaway, the number two Republican member of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, demanded Chairman Adam Schiff’s resignation. The California congressman who assumed the gavel of the committee in January after the Republicans lost the House in the midterm elections, was too “target fixated” on impeaching President Donald Trump, Conaway said.
“I hurt his feelings by asking for his resignation. He had said on more than one occasion that he had evidence that he and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) had inside the committee. He never said it was classified but the innuendo was that ‘I have some stuff.’ But he didn’t,” Conaway said.
WATCH: Conaway on the politics of Trump and Impeachment:
“He’s made that claim more than one and he’s saying it was hiding in plain sight. But it was all a part of the public record… He is really fixated on getting rid of Trump,” said Conaway.
Conaway doesn’t believe Trump should be impeached. “I don’t think he’s done anything to warrant getting impeached. But obviously articles of impeachment have already been filed in the House,” Conaway said.
Looking at the political landscape, Conaway said impeachment would be perilous for the Democrats in 2020.
“If you look at what happened with President (Bill) Clinton, when Republicans impeached him in the House and it failed in the Senate, it actually helped (Clinton) win the (midterm) elections,” Conaway said.
In the Clinton impeachment effort by Republicans in 1997-1998, the process generated a sympathetic response from American voters for the midterms of 1998, Conaway opined. Back then, the House successfully voted for impeachment but Clinton won the vote in the U.S. Senate and was able to stay in office.
The impeachment was over Clinton’s alleged lying in depositions during the lawsuits files that revealed the affair Clinton had with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Charges for impeachment stemmed from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by previous Clinton affair partner named Paula Jones. Clinton was acquitted of those charges in the Senate on February 12, 1999, three months after the midterm gains by Clinton’s party, the Democrats, in the U.S. House.
The November 3, 1998 midterms saw Speaker Newt Gingrich step down because of how poorly the Republicans performed after previously smashing records in 1994. Although Republicans maintained control of the House that year, it was the second time in history that the president’s party gained seats in the House during a midterm election.
The sympathy continued into the 2000 election between Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore, and George W. Bush. The election was so close that the U.S. Supreme Court decided it.
In 2020, Conaway said, the left wing base of the Democrat Party will vote for whoever emerges as the nominee, and the base of the Republican Party will vote for Trump.
“It’s the independents in the middle that will decide,” he said. “What she’s (Pelosi) is seeing and what we’re (Republicans) seeing is that the independents are ready to move on. We did the House version (of the investigation); we did the Senate kinda innuendo (version). They never did issue a report. And we have Mueller’s thorough investigation. They (independents) are ready to move on.”
“If they keep pushing this impeachment thing, they are pushing independents closer and closer to re-electing President Trump,” Conaway said.
Conaway has represented Congressional District 11 since 2005. The district extends from Granbury through Brownwood and San Angelo to Midland and Odessa.
In 2017, when Congressman Devin Nunes temporarily recused himself from the committee’s investigations on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, then-Speaker Paul Ryan appointed Conaway chairman of the Intel Committee where Conaway led the House version of the Russia investigation.
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