House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that Democrats will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Trump, declaring that the president's conduct "leaves us no choice but to act." The announcement comes after a heated House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday featuring four law professors -- most of them Democrat-invited witnesses who presented arguments for impeachment. Pelosi claimed the facts are now "uncontested" that Trump "abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security" by allegedly using aid as leverage to seek an investigation of the Bidens from Ukraine.
Fox News Radio's Guy Benson got reaction from Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) who said the American people deserve to hear from Adam Schiff under oath about his staff's coordination with the whistleblower.
Guy Benson: Joining me now is Congresswoman Elise, Stefanik of New York, the 21st congressional district of the Empire State. She is a third-term member of the House. She's on the House Intelligence Committee. As many of you know, based on what has gone down in that committee in recent weeks, she has launched a fightSchiff.com Congresswoman, great to have you.
Rep. Stefanik: Thanks for having me. Guy, I'm really excited to be on your show.
Guy Benson: We are delighted to have you. It's the first time. So welcome. We are very pleased. I want to ask you your reaction just to the news this morning. Speaker Pelosi not terribly surprising, but officially giving the go-ahead, signaling, yes, articles of impeachment are coming against the president and some reports that this could be voted on by the full House within the next week or two. Your reaction?
Rep. Stefanik: I am not surprised by this. Many of the Democrats in Congress have talked about impeaching the president since the day after his election, before he was sworn into office. So I think she has crossed the Rubicon. And when they started this impeachment inquiry, there was always an intention, regardless of whether evidence was produced or not, that this vote would be taken. And it's going to put many Democrats in a very tough position as you continue to see as the day goes by, independents and Democrats are there. Support for impeachment is declining as they are tuning in and seeing that from my perspective, there is no direct evidence of impeachable offenses.
Guy Benson: So I just want you to take a step back with me for a second here, because even let's say a month ago, you were widely regarded as sort of like, OK, an up and coming member of Congress, a young woman from upstate New York, people who are sort of political nerds like me know about you. And we're sort of we're friendly over the years. And then boom, here come these hearings. You're one of the Republicans on that very small committee with hours and hours of televised hearings. And you became sort of this this lightning rod. Right. All of a sudden, you're a hero to Trump fans, even though in the past you've broken with the president on a number of important votes and sort of MAGA nation is hugely embracing Elise Stefanik And the left just went completely ballistic and almost public enemy number one for a couple of days. Was that sort of an out of body experience at all for you?
Rep. Stefanik: Well, you know, one thing I'm proud of is at all of my committee hearings. I'm known for asking very substantive good questions. And what was different about these hearings is that there was just wall to wall media coverage across the country. So I I'm proud of the questions I ask. They were very fact based. And I think it's important to note that I do have one of the most independent records of any Republican in Congress. But when we're talking about impeachment, I approached this from a constitutional perspective and as a constitutional matter, I think impeachment is much more than a Political Buzz word that I think it's been utilized by many of the president's opponents. And look, I support President Trump. I voted for him. I support him running for reelection. But the left really melted down when I cut to the chase and asked witnesses direct questions. Do you have direct evidence of quid pro quo impeachable offenses, bribery or treason? And every single person I asked that question answered no.
Guy Benson: There was one political commentator whose name does not need to be repeated, but I think several of us know who he is. I referred to you on Twitter as lying trash and was out there really agitating to get people to donate to your opponent. Up in New York, 21 in your Democratic opponent had a huge bonanza in fundraising. I know you are also raking in quite a lot of cash as well. Over the course of that whole fight with the left taking those kinds of shots at you and you playing a central role in those hearings, do you have a sense of a picture of how much money your campaign brought in from people who wanted to sort of support you and what you were doing?
Rep. Stefanik: Well, we're getting overwhelming support from my district, which is most important. But from across the country, the American people are stepping up. I've gotten more positive calls from my constituents than at any other point during my time in Congress. And I'm in my fifth year serving representing New York's 21st district. But what has truly been stunning is to see these vile attacks from the left and these shameful fundraising that my far left Democratic opponent is doing who raised money off of trashy Stefanik. My district knows me as someone that delivers results. That is a strong voice for them on all issues of importance, whether it's veterans, farmers or issues related to the Constitution, such as impeachment. So any day of the week, guy, I choose the North Country over Hollywood C listers like Rosie O'Donnell and Chelsea Handler.
Guy Benson: So let's talk about the substance here, because I've spoken about this on the show. I've written about it at Townhall.com. My listeners not probably sick of hearing me make this point, but having looked at all the evidence as you have as well, I tend to come to the same conclusion that you do when when it comes to impeachment. Right. I think the bar for removing a duly elected president from office needs to be very high. High crimes in particular. And I don't think the Democrats have met that burden. The direct line of the quid pro quo and military aid, I think was I think it's maybe there's circumstantial evidence and you could build a case for it. But I think it needs to be open and shut to justify impeaching the president. And I'm not there. However, looking at what was said between the president and the leader of Ukraine in that phone call and sort of this shadow foreign policy scheme with Rudy and what was going on there, it's very hard for me to swallow the line from the president when he says this was all perfect. The call was perfect. Nothing was wrong here. This is just normal and fine and it's all a giant coup. I'm wondering as you listen to testimony and you ask the questions that you did. Do you agree that the president's call was perfect or do you have concerns even if they fall short of rising to the level of impeachment?
Rep. Stefanik: I think it's important to note that this president is very nontraditional. Certainly he is a different president than an administration that I served in, which was in the Bush administration. You can critique the call and I respect those with that opinion. But the fact remains that Ukraine received the aid. There was no quid pro quo and there was no investigation into the Bidens. So despite some of the analysis, which I think is fairly biased from some of the commentators, not you, guy. But you know who I'm talking about, The New York Times and some of the other outlets who have really viewed this through a biased lens. I think the facts are what's most important here. And I agree with you when we're talking about impeachment. It is an extraordinarily high bar as we think about the history of this country. I think our founders were very visionary in how they structured our government. And there has never been a president that's been removed from office through impeachment. So I certainly think on behalf of the voters, this should be decided at the polls next November because the voters have heard all the information. And certainly, in my district, my voters don't support impeachment.
Guy Benson: Congresswoman, I want to shift gears and talk to you about something that you've been working hard on long before the impeachment process even began. I think it's really quite important backdrop. You're obviously right here live with me on my show. Last night, I was at a Christmas party and I bumped into Congresswoman Diane Black of Tennessee. Then I was at dinner and I saw Ann Wagner, a congresswoman from Missouri. And I'm not just dropping names for no reason. I'm saying I just named what a large percentage of the female members who are Republican in the House of Representatives to the point that, A, it's almost a crisis. I would say for the Republican Party, where there are so few elected women in Congress who are members of the GOP, when female voters are a majority of the U.S. electorate, this is something that you have taken on head on. And this has been a sort of a point of emphasis for you for. I would say more than a year now. Talk about your concerns about the issue that I just described and what you've been doing to rectify it.
Rep. Stefanik: Well, I do think it's a crisis. As has been widely reported. We are down to only 13 Republican women in the House, and I spoke out and said that we need to do something about this. We are moving that number in the wrong direction. We need to make sure that we're increasing the number of Republican women. And I had a very public call to action and took some criticism. But I'm really happy that Republican leaders are stepping up to support these efforts. I've launched my leadership PAC, which has raised a historic amount of money when it comes to supporting Republican women. And the good news is we have more Republican women running for Congress than ever before. 181 have filed to run. And these in many cases are our best candidates and our best pickup opportunities. The reason why this is important is we want to make sure that Republican members of Congress reflect the electorate as a whole and bring a diversity of perspectives and a diversity of backgrounds. And I think we have so many talented Republican women across this country. I'm so glad that they're answering the call to run for office. And I also wanted to add, it's so interesting that you mentioned Congresswoman Diane Black and Congresswoman Ann Wagner. Both of those women were some of my strongest supporters when very few people believed that I could win a swing district and let alone win a primary. They were 100 percent behind me and really went to bat. So I'm trying to pay it forward to the next generation.
Guy Benson: And whether or not you have women or men or Republicans of any stripe in Congress, all of them have been making a similar argument in recent days short of calling out the Democrats and Speaker Pelosi, because one of the promises, frankly, that we heard from Democrats running for office, especially a lot of those majority makers were saying, no, no, no, we're. This is not going to be about impeachment. We're not running to impeach President Trump. We want to talk about the issues that matter to the American people. And then it's been just sort of nonstop investigations and now impeachment. That's been the total obsession. Democrats have passed a number of their sort of messaging bills that have died in the Senate cause they were not they had no intention of actually having anything pass out of the Senate. These were not bipartisan bills. And the argument then becomes from the Democrats, well, yes, we're doing impeachment. It's very important. And, you know, the that the timeline isn't political, even though it's obviously political. But we can walk and chew gum at the same time. But it seems, Congresswoman, like on a couple of very important issues like trade and the USMC, a, there's just nothing happening out of the Democratic Congress because it's all consuming impeachment.
Rep. Stefanik: And they've broken their promise for all of those Democrats that ran in districts that President Trump won. They have broken their promise to voters. They have not been bipartisan on the big issues. They are blocking important wins like USMC. That's important for my district in upstate New York because we have such a prominent trading relationship with Canada. You know, that's critical for the entire country. Pelosi has refused to bring that to the floor because they are on this impeachment obsessed scheduled to get this done before the end of the year. And what's so frustrating is we have a lot of work to do in this country. We need to work on lowering health care costs while improving quality, combating the opioid epidemic, ensuring we have veterans care. And we know that when this gets punted to the Republican Senate, this will be a political buzzsaw for the Democrats. The Senate will not vote to impeach the president. And I'm looking forward to the Senate calling witnesses that Adam Schiff has refused to call. One of those witnesses should be Adam Schiff. A witness should be the whistleblower who should do a closed door deposition to answer questions which Adam Schiff first wanted and then didn't want to hear from when it became clear there was coordination. And I think the Senate should call Hunter Biden so that we can actually address potential conflicts of interest with his service on the board of Barisma. So, you know, despite Pelosi's obsession with impeachment, I think the American public, their support for impeachment is waning as every day goes by. And there's so much more important things that we should be doing as a Congress.
Guy Benson: What would you want to have asked of Chairman Schiff?
Rep. Stefanik: I think key questions to ask of chairmanship are when were you aware of the whistleblower reaching out to your staff? What was discussed? Why did you not disclose that to your colleagues on the committee? Was there we know this was there coordination before the whistleblower complaint was issued. I also want to ask him some of the information in the recent Democratic report, which has subpoenas of phone records of members of Congress and members of the press. That is an incredible intrusion of privacy. And I believe unconstitutional and an abuse of power.
Guy Benson: So and I understand where you're coming from. And I think that Schiff, he got four Pinocchio's when he was lying about his interaction or his staff's interaction with the whistleblower. But isn't that sort of while that is important on some level, isn't it kind of irrelevant in. Moot given the fact that we actually got the transcript of the phone call. Seems like we've kind of moved past that. And you did mention earlier. It is true, yes. That Ukraine did get the aid and that the investigation into the Bidens was never announced by President Zelinsky. But there's been reporting that that happened because rumors started to circulate that this whistleblower is going to flag what had happened. And Republican senators on the other side of Capitol Hill were getting concerned about what was going on with this aide. So the thing kind of fell apart. I guess I understand why you're upset with Schiff and what he was misleading about, but it just seemed like a tertiary issue to me.
Rep. Stefanik: No, I think it's a primary issue. This is a leader and I'm talking about Adam Schiff, who has said to millions of Americans on TV appearances that he has evidence of Russia colluding with Trump. He has yet to produce a single shred of evidence. They promise the American public that the Mueller report would demonstrate impeachable offenses. That obviously didn't work out for them. And when there was this shift to, you know, a potential whistleblower complaint and I sit on that committee guy, I mean, I've experienced how much he has abused his power. He did not disclose that to his colleagues. And that is important because that is what started off. That is what they chose to pursue to continue their obsession with impeachment. I think it's important ask questions about potential bias from a whistleblower, which the inspector general has raised concerns regarding. So, of course, it's a primary issue. At the end of the day, the call transcript is, I believe, the most important evidence. And from my perspective, I do not see impeachable offenses.
Guy Benson: Congresswoman, Elise Stefanik She represents the 21st District of New York. Her maiden voyage here on the Guy Benson Show, we really appreciate your time, thank you.
Rep. Stefanik: Thanks. Hope to be back.
Guy Benson: Absolutely. We love to have you back. And we will be back right after this.