Guest Commentary

Rep. Steve Watkins: This is the Democrats’ idea of democracy

U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins of Kansas
U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins of Kansas Associated Press file photo

Secrecy, betrayal and manipulation. Democrats’ idea of democracy is a kangaroo court where the people are not allowed the truth.

As one of the few Republicans allowed in House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s secret bunker, I understand the gravity of defending our president and our nation’s rule of law.

Everything you know about the latest from the investigations in the House impeachment inquiry come from one source: Schiff. He and his staff leak select details of the depositions to the press in order to create a false narrative surrounding impeachment. As one of the few involved with the inquiry, I will remain dedicated to delivering Kansans the truth.

The House of Representatives is the people’s chamber, not House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s. Our constituents elect us to serve and represent their interests. Elected members cannot represent their constituencies if they are barred from participating in what Democrats call a formal impeachment inquiry. Even though I’m one of the select few allowed to participate, I cannot even review the transcripts of the testimonies without a Democratic staffer standing over my shoulder.

This entire process is a sham. America is the greatest country on Earth because of our open and transparent democracy and adherence to due process. If our government will subject the president of the United States to this type of witch hunt, they can and will do the same to you. Regardless of your political affiliation or opinion of President Donald Trump, the unprecedented, unethical and anarchic nature of this process should frighten everyone.

Most veterans and I are very proud to have served the United States. When I speak with them today, they all say the same thing: They are ashamed of this process. This is not why they served their country. Our very own freedoms have gone by the wayside.

As the inquiry evolves, I will continue to participate in the depositions. I have cosponsored House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s resolution that would allow all members access to the impeachment inquiry and the resolution to censure Schiff for his role in fabricating what he implied was a transcript of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during congressional testimony on Sept. 26.

Furthermore, I have spoken on the House floor demanding Congress focus on issues that matter: securing our border to keep our families safe, reducing government waste and passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which the U.S. International Trade Commission estimates will create 176,000 new jobs after six years.

I made a commitment to fight for you in Congress, and that is what I am doing by fighting for an open and transparent process that allows the American people to decide.

Steve Watkins is a Republican representing Kansas 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.