Rep. Tom Reed opposes the House vote to advance the inquiry, saying President Trump’s actions don’t warrant impeachment

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed opposed Thursday’s House vote on advancing the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

The Republican from Corning said in a Wednesday call with reporters, “I have not seen that smoking evidence that warrants an impeachable level offense ... I am opposed to this vote.

“The good news it will put members of Congress on the record as to whether or not they support impeachment and that’s a good thing,” added Reed.

The resolution passed 232-196, entirely on votes from Democrats and one independent. Reed — whose 23rd District includes the eastern half of Ontario County — didn’t release a statement after the vote and Reed’s communications director, Will Reinert, said the congressmen stood by his previous remarks.

In questioning from reporters, Reed called the impeachment inquiry “political theater to a level we have never seen before.”

Tracy Mitrano, Democratic candidate for Reed’s 23rd District seat, said in a statement after the impeachment inquiry vote: "If I were in Congress today I would solemnly — not boastfully, not lightly, not impulsively — vote to establish clear, transparent rules to guide the public inquiry into impeachment.

“My vote would be based on the President’s actions," Mitrano continued. "By his own admission, President Trump not only withheld aid to Ukraine and asked them to investigate his political rival, he also clearly tied that aid to the investigation. Whether that is the exact definition of a quid pro quo or not, this is a dangerous precedent to set.

“I wouldn’t be comfortable with any party’s leadership using our foreign aid to score domestic political points. No one is above the law, and the President must be held accountable in a full public inquiry."

U.S. Rep. Joe Morelle, Democrat from Irondequoit, spoke before the vote on the House floor.

“I am deeply troubled that this process has become necessary at all, but we have no choice. We must continue to investigate alarming allegations of misconduct by the president,” said Morelle, whose tweeted remarks also addressed next steps. “And we continue with a public process through which all Americans will have the ability to access and assess the evidence.

“Indeed, the president will have strong protections as we weigh the evidence during our deliberations. Our only goal is uncovering the truth: Did the president pressure Ukranian leaders with the threat of withholding critical military assistance in order to serve his political interests? Has the president endangered American interests abroad by engaging in domestic political intrigue? These are serious issues, not of politics, but of national security…”

In echoing other Republicans, U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-Syracuse, tweeted in a statement in response to the vote: “Impeachment must clear a very high bar to be justifiable. The facts of the investigation, its timing, and its methodology do not clear that bar…”

Katko argued that the impeachment inquiry was distracting Congress from “the many pressing issues that the American people elected us to handle” and wasted the time left before the next presidential election when “every American — not just a select few in Congress — will have a chance to render their judgment of the President.”