Congressman Crow says House impeachment duties are independent of politics, election

527

AURORA | All eyes will be on the seven impeachment managers who are tasked with prosecuting the case against President Donald Trump in the coming weeks. Among them is Aurora Congressman Jason Crow, who politicos speculate was chosen, in part, because of his purple-tinged district. 

Whether the pending trial will make a significant mark on Crow’s re-election this year is yet to be determined. David Flaherty, a conservative pollster at Colorado-based Magellan Strategies, said there probably isn’t much room to sway people’s opinions on impeachment at this point. 

“Barring something really out of left field… we haven’t really seen anything that would show decline in support (for the president) among Republicans,” Flaherty said. 

Likewise, he said Democrats and many independents probably won’t waver on their support for impeachment either.

Flaherty hasn’t done any polling in Crow’s district or the state specific to impeachment opinions, but said he feels there’s only about 10 percent of voters who are truly persuadable when it comes to impeachment. A FiveThirtyEight report last week showed support for removal of Trump for office has remained largely level since October.

That means Crow’s role as a manager probably won’t play that big of a part in the upcoming election, Flaherty said. Crow, who beat former Congressman Mike Coffman by 10 points in 2018, has so far attracted three Republican opponents, including former state Republican Chair Steve House. He blasted Crow in a statement last week. 

“It is not surprising that Jason Crow would be anxious to be the tip of the spear that would be used by House Democrats to attack the president and harm our great democracy further. Before even San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi called for the impeachment of our president, Jason Crow had convicted Donald Trump without witnesses or evidence,” House said in the statement. “It is clear that this freshman Congressman doesn’t represent CD6, Colorado or the millions of Americans who elected Donald Trump president.”

In responding to questions of whether he believes the trial will help or hurt his campaign for re-election, Crow said he’s keeping the trial and the politics independent of each other.

“I’m being very careful to completely separate politics from this because my oath means a lot to me. I’ve taken many of them throughout my life…So, for me, I am compelled to fulfill my oath, and politics do not play a part of that,” he said. “What I do think is that Coloradans and people in our community are very concerned about some of the most egregious abuses of this administration. They’re concerned about their public officials doing the right thing and putting the interests of the community and the country ahead of their own. When people don’t do that, they are rightfully concerned about it, and that’s what’s happening here.”

Crow was one of the last Democrats to call for impeachment. In a Washington Post op-ed in September, he and six other freshman Democrats called for an inquiry. Politicos and pundits have called the letter a tipping point in events that led up the House vote. Pelosi launched the inquiry a day later.

“I didn’t think it was going to have the impact that it did, and that wasn’t the intent, either,” Crow said of the op-ed.  “I think we wanted to make a joint statement about why we were so disturbed by the allegations at the time, and what was at stake in our country, how this really did go to the core of our national security and our defense and supporting our troops.” 

The trial is set to begin Tuesday when the Senate reconvenes. Crow told the Sentinel on Friday he wouldn’t discuss trial strategy or what exact part he will play in the upcoming weeks, but there has been near-constant communication among the team of managers, and he feels ready.

“I will approach it with the gravity and the seriousness and the dignity that it deserves, you know, but I served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve led over 100 combat missions leading our finest men and women in battle. I’ve conducted trials in the past, so I will be ready,” he said.