Republicans pleased; Democrats fear for democracy

Area officials agree on one thing: No surprise in vote

One thing Democratic and Republic party leaders had in common following President Donald Trump’s acquittal on impeachment charges: Neither side was shocked by the Senate vote.

“It was not a surprise he was acquitted,” said Sue Forde, chairwoman of the Clallam County Republican Party.

“I’ve gotten calls from people who are thrilled about it.

“Mostly, the people I talked to watched the State of the Union last night and they are just pumped about the fact that our president was so positive going forward about our country.”

She said the Senate trial was fair, but that the House could have brought more witnesses to testify, “which was their job to do, and they didn’t and tried to pass that on to the Senate.”

Forde said Trump should not apologize for his actions and did not do anything wrong.

“Suffice to say that this is past us now, and now we can get on to the business of our president continuing to bring a strong economy and continue to help people across all sectors,” she said.

Democrats in Clallam County took a fatalistic approach to Wednesday’s Senate proceedings.

Some let their views be known to Liz Bumgarner of Sequim, chairwoman of Clallam County Democrats, which has 320 members.

“People are annoyed and are upset, but we knew this was going to happen, and I’m sure all the Democrats in the Senate knew this was going to happen,” Bumgarner said.

She said there was no need for the Senate to call witnesses.

“There was enough evidence, really, to say he had abused the power of the presidency, exactly the reason why impeachment was set up,” Bumgarner said.

“He was impeached because he was dangerous, because he was using the office of the presidency to get ahead on the election in 2020.”

Bumgarner predicted Trump’s impeachment will be an election issue in November.

“We’ll just have to see what people think,” she said.

“I think enough Americans realize that he many not be with us this time next year.

“Then I will really be in mourning if he is.”

Jefferson County Republicans are relieved to see an end to the trial.

“The Jefferson County Republican Central Committee is grateful to see the end of our nation’s impeachment trial,” said vice chair Jodi Wilke.

“An undertaking of this nature should be overwhelmingly bipartisan and conclusive; this effort was neither. The American people are worthy of honest and fair representation.

“Washington state and Jefferson County deserve legislators committed to the business of our communities rather than partisan politics,” said Wilke, who continues to be registered with the state Public Disclosure Commission for this year’s race for Mike Chapman’s state House of Representatives seat although she has said she is not running for office.

”Republicans have brought balance and fairness back,” Wilke said.” We truly are a party for all people.”

A representative of the Jefferson County Democrat Party was unavailable for comment on Wednesday but the chair of the 24th Legislative District Democrats said that members are proud of their representatives in Congress for their efforts during the trial.

“I fear for our democracy,” Bruce Cowan said.

“I’m proud of the Democrats for making a solid case, even with the obstruction.”

Cowan said he would remember Sen. Mitt Romney, the sole Republican who voted to convict Trump of one of the impeachment charges, “for putting country over party and standing up to the bully in the White House. I’m sure that much more evidence will come out.

“I hope that Republicans don’t continue to double down on their denial,” Cowan added.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].

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