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SALT LAKE CITY — The Democrats’ impeachment process is “just nonsense,” and any State Department employee who undermines the president's policy or agenda is “betraying” the American people, Utah Rep. Chris Stewart believes.
The Utah congressman, who also serves as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, appeared on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday. While on air, Stewart lambasted the State Department employees who chose to comply with the impeachment probe’s subpoenas despite the White House's orders against it.
“(State Department employees) don’t just work for the president, they work for the people of the United States, and the people selected this president,” Stewart told Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham. “They’re not betraying the president, they’re betraying the people. They’re betraying the trust and the Constitution, which has sustained us for 200 years.”
Ingraham agreed, claiming that supporters of the impeachment process hold a “condescending, elite view” that those who voted for Trump are “stupid.”
The congressman added on Twitter that individuals who work for the administration "have a duty to enact the policy of the executive branch," and that by "undermining" a president, they are "ultimately betraying American voters."
Three House committees are currently working to determine whether President Donald Trump should be impeached after he asked Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden days after withholding aid to the eastern European country.
The White House instructed employees not to answer to any of the committees’ subpoenas on the matter, but several have decided to testify in the impeachment hearings anyway.
Stewart also berated the Democrats for the way they’ve handled the impeachment hearings, which have moved behind closed doors. The congressman believes the hearings are no longer open because the first few were a “disaster” that didn’t carry “forward their narrative of impeachment,” he said.
“If you consider this fair, then it’s like Mr. Stalin: 'Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime,’” Stewart said.
Transcripts of the hearings are also no longer widely released, a move Stewart said has caused a major misperception of the hearings’ content.
Many who testify in the hearings are supportive of the president, but Democrats release bits and pieces to the media, and the resulting reports show the exact opposite, he said — though he also confirmed that the House Intelligence Committee isn’t receiving the transcripts either, and he hasn’t seen them all.
”They realize they can’t convince the American people in the open, so they’re going to do it in secret, and then they’re going to leak, and they’re going to lie,” he said, claiming that the media, in turn, “have proven to be the least curious people in the universe” because of their “unwillingness” to ask basic questions about the hearings.
“If there was anything in these hearings that would convince the American people that this president should be impeached, I promise you they would be holding them in open hearings,” Stewart said.
Democratic congressman Rep. Adam Schiff, who has, in large part, led the impeachment inquiry as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said transcripts of the interviews conducted behind closed doors will be made public when they do not “jeopardize investigative equities,” according to a mid-October report from The Hill.
Rep. Rob Bishop, Stewart’s fellow Utah congressman, also spoke out against the impeachment inquiry on the House floor Monday. His alliterative articulation claimed the impeachment probe was “propaganda pushed upon people” as a “political ploy.”
“It is painful to be placed in a position to protest the pranks pushed by Pelosi and her posse of players, but people have been pushed out and put on the sidelines as Democrats plow ahead with this so-called impeachment inquiry,” Bishop said. “The impact of this pandering is the peeling away of the people’s trust placed upon us.”
Stewart and Bishop's fellow Republican Utah congressman, Rep. John Curtis, has remained relatively silent on the issue, saying he is "closely monitoring the formal inquiry Speaker Pelosi announced" in September and that he has "the utmost confidence in the investigative tools Congress has at its disposal to help us determine the facts."
However, Utah's lone Democratic congressman, Rep. Ben McAdams, voiced support for the impeachment inquiry in early October, though he was slower than most Democrats to do so. His tipping point came when Trump refused to cooperate in an impeachment inquiry without a vote on the House floor, he told reporters.
“The president’s refusal to further cooperate with congressional oversight without an impeachment inquiry is regrettable,” he said during an October press conference. “We find ourselves today at the point where an inquiry is necessary to get all of the facts on the table.”
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican, has also been critical of Trump's actions, though he said he isn't discussing impeachment with "anybody."
Romney criticized Trump over his phone call with the president of Ukraine, as well as his call to China to investigate Biden, but the Utah senator said he understands why others have chosen to stay silent to wait for more information.
“But there’s no question that on its face, asking China to investigate Mr. Biden, asking Ukraine to do so, that’s simply the wrong thing to do,” he said in early October.
He has not, as of yet, given his "stamp of approval" to an impeachment inquiry, however.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Stewart was referring to federal employees instead of State Department employees.