U.S. Rep. Ron Kind said the impeachment inquiry looks “more and more problematic” for President Trump every day, but he hopes lawmakers will “keep an open mind” as the inquiry moves forward and toward a full House vote.
“I view my role as a co-equal branch very seriously,” the La Crosse Dem said in an interview aired Sunday on “UpFront,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
“I would hope everyone can keep an open mind until they hear all the testimony and all the documents that are pertinent,” Kind said.
But Kind also said he thinks “the evidence is pointing to a clear involvement of (Trump) trying to, again, blackmail the Ukraine president to conduct a political hit job on one of (Trump’s) rivals.”
Trump won Kind’s 3rd Congressional District in 2016, and “UpFront” host Adrienne Pedersen asked him how that would affect his vote on impeachment.
“Not one single bit,” Kind said.
Republicans are airing ads and trying to ramp up pressure on Kind and other Democrats who represent districts Trump won. Kind said it’s Republicans who have pre-judged the case.
“They clearly haven’t seen all the evidence, all the facts or heard all the testimony and yet they’ve clearly already reached a conclusion,” Kind said. “They pre-judged this many months ago, I’m afraid.”
Kind also was asked whether he would support the USMCA, the new trade deal the Trump administration struck with Mexico and Canada. It awaits a vote in the House.
Kind said he is seeking changes to the agreement, because “what they negotiated was very weak and poor when it comes to enforcement provisions.”
“If it lacks meaningful enforcement; it is meaningless,” Kind said. “I don’t want to support an agreement that can be ignored by the other two countries.”
He said the Trump administration “could care less about enforcement and only wants some political victory.”
Kind also said he hopes negotiations over the USMCA can be wrapped up and the agreement voted on by the end of the year.
In another segment, a Milwaukee alderman said reckless driving in the city is approaching an “epidemic.”
A task force has made recommendations officials hope will help curb the problem. The recommendations come after a string of horrific hit and runs that have left two children dead and eight other people injured since late October.
“We truly, I believe, it’s almost like an epidemic,” Alderman Michael Murphy said.
Murphy led the task force on reckless driving. Its recommendations focus on enforcement and accountability, engineering solutions and educational efforts.
Murphy said the city has committed more money toward the problem.
But he said he was not optimistic about increased funding from the state.
“The state has not been what you’d call favorably disposed to the city of Milwaukee,” he said.
One public hearing has already been held on the recommendations, and another is planned for Nov. 25 at Milwaukee’s Rufus King High School.
“We want the public’s involvement. We want their engagement, because we need their help,” Murphy said.
See more from the program: