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Government

'They're All Guilty At Times' — 11 Opinions On Impeachment From Kansas City Metro Residents

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C-SPAN
U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler and Doug Collins, are leaders of the House Judiciary Commission, which approved articles of impeachment on Friday.

The weeks of secret and public hearings in Washington, D.C., are over, the articles of impeachment have been drawn up and the U.S. House is set to vote next week on whether President Donald Trump obstructed Congress and abused power in withholding Ukrainian military aid over a sought-after investigation into a political rival. 

KCUR wanted to know how closely residents in the Kansas City metro were following what could be just the fourth impeachment in America’s history. Here’s what we found out. 

Jesse Hart, 40, Independence, Missouri
Independent

“I don’t try to keep up with politics too much. Politics is not really my thing. A lot of times I think we don't have full say the way things are going to go sometimes.”

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Aviva Okeson-Haberman
/
KCUR 89.3

Mary Ann Schopf, age and city not provided
Republican

“I like my president. I voted for my president and I wish they'd leave him the hell alone. We didn't hire the man to be politically correct. We hired him to clean house and do a job. And so far, I think he's doing it.” 

“I voted for him because he doesn't take anything off of people. He stands up for what he believes in, he cares about his country. We have a better economy than we've had in years. We have lower unemployment than we've had in years.”

“You want to vote him out? Vote him the hell out. But don't screw with him while he’s president the entire time. So if you want him out, vote him out. That’s fine. But don't cheat him out. And I don't think he cheated his way in either.”

“I think (history will remember this) a lot like Ronald Reagan. He had all kinds of problems and people had a lot to say. And in the end, it turned out to be one of our best presidents. It's gonna come out somewhere down the road, it'll wash out.”

Nancy Noah, didn’t provide age, Independence, Missouri
Party affiliation unknown

“I believe that he needs to be impeached for the charges that they are bringing against him.”

“His crowning achievement will be all the controversy.”

Lisa Cross, 72, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Democrat

“I’m both encouraged and discouraged. I do think he needs to be impeached. (I’m) sorry … the nation has to go through that. But I’m hoping the process goes forward. I don’t have a lot of hope for the Senate, but we’ll just wait and see.” 

Ben Frey, 53, Westwood, Kansas
Moderate Democrat

“To be perfectly honest, I’m getting a little bit tired of it all. I’ve been watching the news and I’m just getting to the point where I just don’t really want to watch it anymore … I just don’t think there will ever be a middle ground between both sides. Last night I was pretty disappointed that it was all on party lines, and just knowing that it’s not going to pass in the Senate, the removal from office, you can just kind of see it coming.” 

“I watched a little of the hearings, maybe 30 minutes of it.”

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Aviva Okeson-Haberman
/
KCUR 89.3

Anthony Calhoun, 18, Independence, Missouri
Independent

He hasn’t been following the impeachment closely, but said: “I think that the government will do its job regardless. So if he needs to be impeached, if they find reasons that he should be impeached, then they're going to get him out of here. … Doesn’t he have like less than a year left? So if they were going to impeach him, why didn't they didn't think about that, like two years ago?”

“I never voted because I just turned 18. So I didn't get to vote on last year's election, but I'm definitely going to vote on this one. And I'm voting against Trump.”

“I feel like kids in 20 years are going to be reading about this on the internet, not in textbooks, because they're done making textbooks, but on the internet, they're going to read about it.”

Mike Holdgraf, 73, Fairway, Kansas
Party affiliation unknown

“Although some presidents can be more obnoxious than others, I mean they’re all guilty at times of bending the rules and doing things to benefit themselves, in my humble opinion. This all comes around to how can we get somebody elected. The value of this I think is marginal, really. 

“They’re all guilty of finding ways of, how shall I put this, of coercing people to vote for them or getting information  — both parties, Democrats and Republicans  — it has become just sickening to see the partisanship that takes place, the yelling, the screaming, the outrage on both ends. It’s very disheartening.”

Sharon Harter, 66, Westwood, Kansas
Democrat (but thinking of registering as a Republican for the primary) 

“I heard everyone, the testimonies of everyone who voluntarily came forward during the hearing process prior to the impeachment stuff that we’ve been watching the last two days, and I heard their truth. And their truth is that, how do I put this, well, he’s done what he’s accused of doing from the Democrats. And I’m extremely, extremely concerned about the setting of precedents for our country in the future. That’s what I’m concerned about is the future. And our democracy and how the constitution is being warped, that’s what I’ll call it right now. And it’s devastating. It’s not worth keeping a party in place, and in power, to forfeit our democracy.”

Charles Keller, 73, Prairie Village, Kansas
Independent

“You can’t miss (the hearings). Here’s my conclusions: Nancy Pelosi was originally right when she said impeaching Trump will help him more than hurt. The guy is obviously guilty. He obviously did the things that they said. The Republicans are defending him very aggressively and pretty much viciously. He won’t be found guilty.” 

“The Senate’s going to let him off and I just hope it doesn’t help him more than it hurts.”

“The only one I’ve followed is Sharice a little bit. I’m empathetic with her and I understand why she’s agreeing with it because she’s a Democrat and she needs to. I just hope it doesn’t hurt her in Kansas.”

Christina Robinson, 49, East Independence, Missouri
Democrat

“I don’t think a whole lot is going to come out of (impeachment). We've been through this before with (President Bill) Clinton, and it was threatened with (President Barack) Obama, but I don't think it got this far. 

“And I think any president we have will probably face some type of impeachment, but I don't know if it will be of this magnitude of deception that’s going on. Or maybe it's always been that way … maybe some of the past presidents, and I feel like the current president isn't any different than one of our other past presidents. I just think he's more vocal about it.”

“I think this is going to be talked about until the world ends. It may be tweaked, depending on who tells the story and who writes the story.”

Dennis Rathmann, 69, Independence, Missouri
Independent

“I think the Democrats are just upset that they didn't win the election and they're just trying any which way to get their candidate in the White House.”

“I change the channel because I don't want to hear (the impeachment proceedings). They just talk about it on the news and it sounds like they just don't know for sure what they're talking about.”

“They pardoned (President Richard) Nixon. So who's to say they probably pardon Trump, too, if they can convict him. Which I'm not even sure they'll do that.”

Aviva Okeson-Haberman is the Missouri government and politics reporter at KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter: @avivaokeson.

Sam Zeff is KCUR's metro reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter: @samzeff.

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