Impeachment hearing

Hugh Shields (left to right), SWMO Democrats Executive Director Krista Stark, Dena Waite, Elliott Denniston and Penny Hagedorn watch the impeachment proceedings on Wednesday at the SWMO Democrats headquarters. 

Area residents weren't shy Wednesday when asked to weigh in on the historic decision in the U.S. House of Representatives — only the third time in American history that a president has faced an impeachment vote.

Donna Harlan, Joplin, and Daniel Scalf, Seneca, summed up the respective sides.

"This is nothing more than a partisan witch hunt that the Democrats in Congress had planned from the very day President Trump won in 2016," said Scalf. 

"Trump has violated so many rules, knows nothing on how the government works and disrespects the Constitution," Harlan said. "He needs to go. We need a president, not a snake oil salesman."

McCaela Fawson, Carthage, said, "I do not like Trump as a person, but I like what he has done for our country. Especially for our military, veterans, and middle class. I would like to keep him in office, and I do not think impeaching him would be a good thing."

Kjersti McDonald, Duquesne, disagreed. " ... Our president solicited foreign help in investigating a political opponent, and intended to withhold military funding until Ukraine announced they would investigate the Bidens. It's been confirmed by officials Trump himself appointed that all of this is true. That is a complete abuse of the power of the executive branch.

"For those of you still defending Trump — if the roles were reversed, and a Democratic president ... had solicited an investigation from a foreign government into Trump and his family while facing a re-election campaign against Trump, would you want Congress to impeach or not? Really, I mean really, think about it. ..."

John Baker, Joplin, said, "I think it’s a joke. Like almost everything the Democrats do."

Justin Kidston, Joplin, said, "(A) majority of House and Senate Republicans want to turn a blind eye this time around when their views were quite different with Clinton. Evidence is evidence. Where are their witnesses?"

Krista Stark, executive director of Southwest Missouri Democrats, said: “... we really have a large amount of faith in our Democratic leadership to proceed with this (impeachment) in such a way that we know the facts will come to light.

“We believe that’s exactly how it’s played out, that there’s been proper investigation done, that there are certainly facts coming to light that make it very clear there are impeachable offenses on the table. We also, of course, live in the real world where we know that the House can impeach a president and the Senate can choose then to use their portion of the jurisprudence to deal with it in their own way. Before the case has even been brought to the Senate, we know we have a Senate Majority Leader that has clearly telegraphed what he’s going to do, which in our eyes, he needs to recuse himself because he’s not an unbiased juror.”

Nick Myers, a member of the Newton County Republican Central Committee who also serves as vice chairman of the Missouri Republican State Committee, said, "Southwest Missourians are disgusted by the partisan antics of the national Democrats. Taxpayers expect politicians to work together, not waste their tax dollars on partisan politics. Missouri has eight votes in the House of Representatives. Six of Missouri's Congressional members will vote against impeachment. Who will vote for it? Southwest Missouri Republicans agree with the six voting against impeachment."

Dimita Dodson, Waco, said, "Democrats are sore losers. The people voted for him. Losers shouldn't be able to take him out."

Toni O'Brian, who grew up in Joplin, thought Democrats were doing the right thing. "Impeach him," she said. "His lack of morals goes against everything that America stands for. He’s a sleazy businessman and nothing else. Disgusting."

But Toni Cornelli Bridgford, Joplin, disagreed. "This is not going any further than the House ... all for show! A giant waste of time and money!"

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