One-on-one sit-down with Senator Mike Crapo

Posted at 2:58 PM, Feb 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 00:27:47-05

BOISE, Idaho — As Idaho's senior senator and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mike Crapo has a lot to say about the recent impeachment hearings in Congress.

Don Nelson sat down with Senator Crapo to find out what he thought about the entire process.

Many may not know or remember, but Senator Mike Crapo voted in the Bill Clinton impeachment hearings just a month after being sworn in as a U.S. senator.

We asked Crapo about what differences he saw between President Trump's and President Clinton's hearings and if the votes cast earlier this month were strictly partisan.

"No, they're not; and frankly, there's a lot of differences, but the key point is President Clinton committed multiple crimes," Senator Crapo said. "Serious crimes of perjury, not only before a grand jury but before a special counsel investigation, and President Trump wasn't even charged with a crime."

Senator Crapo's friend and colleague Senator Mitt Romney of Utah broke ranks with the G.O.P. and voted to convict in the impeachment trial, something that didn't sit well with the White House.

When asked about Senator Romney's decision and President Trump's response, Senator Crapo said, "I don't believe the President or anybody should or will go after [Romney]. Now, there may be some back-and-forth between the President and Senator Romney, but Mitch McConnell addressed that best, I think an hour after the votes," Senator Crapo said. "[McConnell] said nobody's in the dog house, and we're all coming together to work strongly for the next issues on the floor of the Senate."

"Why did our forefathers create the impeachment process, and what did they want it to accomplish, and what did they not want it to be?" Crapo said. "They did not want a system in which a party in opposition to the President could simply remove him because they didn't like him."

And does Senator Crapo think the president tweets too much? "Definitely. He has been able to stir the pot with his tweets, and sometimes I felt that wasn't necessary," Crapo said. "In fact, sometimes counter-productive in what we were trying to accomplish."

As far as President Trump's phone call with the President of Ukraine, Senator Crapo said, "I actually believe the President's actions were different than mine would have been. That it is possible for people to be critical how he handled it, I don't think it was the way the partisan attack characterized it exactly."