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Kathy Castor will vote to impeach Donald Trump

The vote is expected to fall along party lines.

Congresswoman Kathy Castor will support impeaching President Donald Trump when the U.S. House of Representatives takes its vote Wednesday.

“It’s a very busy week in Washington. But the most serious vote of all will be to impeach the President. But we really have no choice in this. The President abused his power. He violated his oath of office,” Castor told WMNF’s Sean Kinane in a radio interview Tuesday. “Really, no one is above the law. And he’s tried to elevate himself as a dictator or a king. And we’re not a monarchy. We’re the United States of America. We’re a republic, a democracy. And that means that an executive doesn’t have supreme power. We have a system of checks and balances.”

Castor’s decision to vote in favor of two articles of impeachment comes as little surprise as Democrats who control the House are expected to approve impeachment.

“When an executive goes too far and takes bipartisan military aid to a country that is the subject of war by Russia, and conditions that aid on manufacturing dirt against a political opponent, that executive has gone too far. President Trump has gone too far, and impeachment is the remedy here,” she said.

Castor lamented the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans on the issue.

“The facts are plain. And anyone who watched these brave outspoken professionals, like Dr. Fiona Hill, or the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and others, the facts were made very plain,” Castor said.

“We’re living in an era of disinformation. I’m afraid that Fox News has a captive audience and they’re out of the mainstream. And it’s very difficult to break through the cult of Donald Trump, and that right-wing disinformation campaign. Bolstered by the Russians who are, right now, according to all of our intelligence agencies, still interfering in our political processes, and intend to interfere in the election.”

Castor went on to say she could not understand why her GOP colleagues are unwilling to stand up for the American people.

“And I just, for the life of me, can’t understand why some of my GOP colleagues can’t stand up and understand that Trump is not going to be president forever. But their reputation is going to be something that they live with for the rest of their lives,” she said.

The House Rules committee approved six hours of debate on impeachment, which is expected to begin sometime after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

If the House impeaches Trump, which they are widely expected to do, the issue then heads to the Senate for a trial to determine whether to remove Trump from office.

The Senate, which is under Republican control, is unlikely to remove Trump from office.

Still, Castor said the procedure in the Senate is unclear.

“We’ve never had impeachment of a president during a first term. There’s so much at stake.

Hopefully, this will give us the opportunity to hear from witnesses that should have appeared, but for President Trump’s total obstruction of the investigation. Maybe like a John Bolton. Maybe there will be certain documents that come to light that were obstructed by the White House,” Castor said.

Senate Republicans are split over whether to make the Senate trial swift and limit witness testimony. Some Republicans think a quick process is best. Democrats view that as cover for the President and favor a more involved process including witness testimony that could include evidence that was not uncovered during the House’s investigation. Democrats only need a simple majority to include witness testimony, unlike the super majority needed to remove Trump from office.

“There’s a whole trove of communications out of Secretary Pompeo’s office, likely with Attorney General Barr, Rudy Giuliani. And those have been covered up and kept from the American people. Maybe, just maybe, this will be an opportunity for us to see those documents,” Castor said.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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