GOP senators will need more time before they abandon President Donald Trump and vote to back his impeachment, says a Watergate-era House judiciary committee congresswoman.
Elizabeth Holtzman represented New York in the House for four consecutive terms and was a member of the judiciary committee when it adopted articles of impeachment against former President Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal.
Holtzman told Newsweek that she sees “deep similarities” between the cases for impeaching Trump and Nixon but cautioned that, as with Watergate, it will be some time before Republicans accept the arguments against the incumbent president.
“It’s too soon to expect Republicans to come out and say they’re for impeachment,” Holtzman told Newsweek, noting that it was “many months after we got started … before any Republicans said they were in favor of articles of impeachment.”
“People have to get a sense of the facts, digest the facts, understand the implications of the facts. The real question here is what is the impact of what President Trump did on our democracy?” Holtzman said.
“And people have to grapple with that, understand it, get their arms around that concept, the danger that it presents. There needs to be a little bit of time here.”
“Everybody wants to predict what’s going to happen in the Senate but when we started out proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee we didn’t even know what the case was or that there’d be enough votes on the committee for impeachment. And it never got to the Senate,” she continued. “We can’t really put the cart before the horse here. Let’s just go and proceed in a methodical way. That’s really what has to happen and see how the American people react. Then we’ll see what the senators do.”