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Not Every Democrat Is Behind The Trump Impeachment Inquiry


Not every Democrat has signed on to an impeachment inquiry for President Trump. Representative Kendra Horn is one of those who has not. She represents the 5th District of Oklahoma, and she is on the line from Oklahoma City. Congresswoman, good morning.

KENDRA HORN: Good morning. Good to be with you this morning.

INSKEEP: Could you just put it in your own words - what is the proper way to state your view of this impeachment inquiry now that it is going forward?

HORN: I take my oath of office incredibly seriously and I think the issues that are facing us and the allegations are serious. I believe that they should be investigated in a thoughtful, intentional, transparent and bipartisan manner. However, I don't think that an impeachment inquiry was the only way to do that. Having said that, I think it is our job and the public deserves transparency that rises above politics and gets to the heart of our role as Congress and our duty to protect and defend our systems and institutions.

INSKEEP: You would have rather said let's investigate the way that House committees have done on any number of other matters rather than say let's investigate with a view toward impeachment.

HORN: Yes. And I think one of the other things that's important here is that we should be thoughtful and judicious, that this process and any information that comes out should be intentional and shouldn't be - decisions shouldn't be made before we have all of the information. And that's why I think it is incredibly important that - the people who elected me here in Oklahoma - is I focus on critical issues like mental health - we had a town hall last night - and the impacts on people across my district, those are also the issues that we need to continue to focus on and I will continue to focus on because there is so much at stake right now in so many areas that people are dealing with in their day-to-day lives.

INSKEEP: Couple of things to follow up on there, Representative, if you don't mind; first, the facts themselves. You mentioned you want to get all the facts. Maybe we don't have them all, but we have some, including a record of this phone call from President Trump to Ukraine's president. As you know, President Trump asks for an investigation of a political rival. He goes on for some time. He asks Ukraine's president to talk to his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, about this, also to talk to the attorney general, William Barr, about this. He also asks about a conspiracy theory. What do you make of all that?

HORN: Well, what I make of all that is that there are serious allegations in the whistleblower complaint, and the information that's coming out certainly looks to impact our national security and our systems in a number of ways. However, I think that as everything changes so quickly - I was volunteering at a food bank yesterday afternoon, and in the hour that I was there packing boxes, so much changed. And in this era of we have 24 hour news cycles and notices appearing on our phones, I think it is more important than ever for us to slow down, to be intentional and to not make decisions based on bits and pieces of information and ever-changing reports until the committee that is doing the work can do the work. And that's why I won't make any decisions about what I will or won't do until we have all of that information.

INSKEEP: Can I just ask - because you've mentioned your district a couple of times and representing the people of your district. We should note that Oklahoma is a red state, as we say, a conservative state. This was a Republican district until you won in 2018. You're one of the majority makers, as they say, who gave Democrats control of the House of Representatives. Do you think you are representing the - well, your district voted for President Trump. Do you think you're representing your voters by being reluctant to move too quickly here?

HORN: I think I'm representing my voters by being thoughtful and intentional about every decision I make. And I think that's reflected. I've had calls from people with all different perspectives, but the promise that I made was to listen and to be thoughtful and make decisions based on the facts in front of me. That's who I am, and that's I think what my voters want.

INSKEEP: And why do you think Nancy Pelosi, who was in your position just a week or two ago, has changed?

HORN: I don't know that I can speak for her, but what I can say is that I will continue to look at the evidence and to make sure that I'm making decisions based on the complete information that I have and not based on partial information.

INSKEEP: Representative Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, thanks so much.

HORN: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.