DALLAS — Congressman Lance Gooden, R-Terrell, said Sunday that the U.S. Senate has options which could force House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to finally send over the recently passed articles of impeachment against President Trump.
“One of the great options – which is why I’m thrilled for her to sit on it as long as she wants – is that [Republican Majority Leader and U.S.] Senator [Mitch] McConnell can continue to push through nominations of all these judicial conferees. The president has a lot of names out there, and I suspect you’ll see through January [that] the Senate will be confirming judicial nominees if Speaker Pelosi continues to sit on impeachment articles,” Gooden said on WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics.
Dozens of President Trump’s appointees are sitting on the political sidelines awaiting Senate debate and a vote on confirmation. If Republicans pushed those through, it would increase Trump’s legacy and conservative influence on the federal bureaucracy and judiciary.
Pelosi said she wants clarity from the Senate on how the president’s trial would unfold. Until then, the House Speaker said she will not send over the impeachment case.
“What’s interesting to me is that Republicans were totally shut out of the process on the House side, and now all of a sudden Democrats want to be in on the process on the Senate side. Speaker Pelosi has said since day one [that] this is all about the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say the speaker of the U.S. House tells the U.S. Senate how to run their trial on an impeachment,” Gooden told WFAA.
When asked whether he supported going to war with Iran, Congressman Gooden said “absolutely not, and neither does the president. No one wants a war. I don’t even know that Iran wants a war.”
But stakes in the Middle East are growing more precarious after President Trump ordered a U.S. military strike to assassinate Iranian Gen. Qassim Suleimani.
“Executing that general was absolutely the right thing to do. It should have been done long ago,” the congressman added.
Suleimani was reportedly behind years of attacks on U.S. troops and interests in the Middle East.
But the U.S. hit took place in Iraq as Suleimani drove away from the Baghdad airport. That infuriated Iraqi lawmakers who expressed concern over their own sovereignty and who is really running their country.
In response to the airstrike, Iraqi lawmakers on Sunday morning voted to expel U.S. troops stationed in the country. That legislation, though, is not final until Iraq’s prime minister signs it.
Strategically, military analysts said expelling U.S. troops from Iraq would put America at a disadvantage in the fight against Iran and even the Islamic State.
“Sure, there’s a lot of bad things that can happen,” Gooden said Sunday. “One of the worst things I can think of would be to do nothing and let terrorist sponsors continue to march all over us, which is what they have done for years.”
Gooden, currently in his first term representing the 5th congressional district, was the first congressman to receive an endorsement from President Trump.