Politics & Government

Impeachment efforts will be seen as a waste of time by 12th District voters, Bost says

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, said the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump will prevent Congress from doing necessary work and may ultimately be seen as a waste of time, at least in his Southern Illinois district.

“Look at all the things we’ve got to get done. They say we can walk and chew gum at the same time, but we’re not. One of the most important things to my district, not only for manufacturers, but for farmers is the USMCA (United States, Mexico and Canada trade agreement, which has not been ratified). “We’ve got to get that moved,” Bost said during an interview with the Belleville News-Democrat. “These are things we ought to be working on. We also need to be working on the opioid crisis.”

Bost argued the Trump did nothing against the law when he asked the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

“I may not have asked that, but it wasn’t illegal. There was not an illegal act there,” said Bost, who represents Illinois’ 12th District, which includes all of St. Clair , Monroe , Randolph, Jackson and Williamson counties among others. “We have had every lawyer around, that is not partisan one way or another, say,’There is no violation of any law, not quid pro quo.’”

The third-term congressman, who said he hasn’t seen enough evidence to warrant impeachment, also said he doesn’t believe the president is hiding anything and Democrats have been working to have Trump thrown out of office since before he was sworn in.

“I don’t always have to like his wording, I don’t like his tweets at times. But the reality is, is there something to go forward on impeachment?” Bost said. “Everything they have tried ... and remember this, they were trying to impeach him before he was sworn in, and how many things have they gone down looking ... every witch hunt and then it falls flat on its face.”

Bost said he expects Trump’s poll numbers in his district are as high as the day he was elected, if not higher, and it’s because of the health of the economy and that most people will be against impeachment.

“One, they’re tired of it,” Bost said. “I think they’ll see it as a waste of time and nothing more than a political move by a group that was angry over the last election and they ought to be focused on this one. And maybe they’re trying to focus on this one to try to affect that election.”

Joseph Bustos is the state affairs and politics reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, where he strives to hold elected officials accountable and provide context to decisions they make. He has won multiple awards from the Illinois Press Association for coverage of sales tax referenda.