Winner by a slender margin over a Republican incumbent in 2018, U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3) released the following statement in response to reported abuses of power by President Trump to use the power of the Presidency for political gain:
“During my time working at the White House National Security Council, I sat in the Oval Office for a number of phone calls with world leaders. I never could have imagined the Commander in Chief on a call putting personal and political gain above our national security.
“I believe the Commander in Chief role is the most sacred responsibility of the Presidency, and it is the last place where partisan politics belongs. We hold this highest of standards because we know the incredible power of that singular office. It is a power that has the potential for doing incredible good, but if corrupted, it weakens America’s national security, international standing and the framework of our very Democracy.
“By urging the Ukrainian government to take action to influence our Democracy, Trump has violated that power and the trust of the American people. If the facts are corroborated, that violation, and my understanding of its implications, has led me to come to the conclusion that the President has committed an impeachable offense.
“This decision does not come easily. My focus as your member of Congress remains on the people of Burlington and Ocean Counties. We have to work to lower health care and prescription drug costs, lower taxes and support our veterans. We have to break through the hyperpartisanship and find real meaningful ways to work across the aisle.
“I have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution three times in my life. Over the course of my career I worked under both Republicans and Democrats as long as I thought that the leaders who I served were putting our country’s best interests first. Our community in New Jersey is home to tens of thousands of service members and veterans who know better than the rest of us what it means to put country over self.
“It is our duty in Congress to hold the President accountable if that sacred responsibility laid out in the Constitution is violated. The President’s actions and our obligation to the Constitution has led me to this conclusion, and I will work with my colleagues to pursue the truth and defend our Democracy.”
Congressman Kim is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he serves the Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Readiness and as a Member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities. Prior to serving in Congress, Congressman Kim served in Afghanistan as Strategic Advisor to Generals David Petraeus and John Allen. Kim went on to serve as Director of Iraq in Obama’s National Security Council where he coordinated the crisis response to countering the rise of ISIS.
Republicans pounced on the congressman’s statement.
“By choosing to support the rabid left’s obsession with impeachment, Andy Kim has proven to New Jersey voters he has no interest in delivering on the issues voters care about and he will lose reelection,” said National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) Spokesman Michael McAdams.
“Andy Kim made it perfectly clear his loyalties lie with impeachment-obsessed socialists who will stop at nothing to remove President Trump from office, no matter the cost,” said Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) Spokesman Calvin Moore. “Congressman Kim’s decision to back impeachment will be seared into the mind of every voter as a reminder that his irrational hatred of President Trump took priority over the will of the constituents who elected him to office in the first place.”
A week ago, former Burlington County Freeholder Kate Gibbs announced that she had formed an exploratory committee looking into a 2020 challenge of Kim.