Republican Mark Amodei Tiptoes Around Impeachment Inquiry

A Republican member of the House of Representatives spent Saturday clarifying his support for congressional oversight of a whistle-blower’s complaint against President Trump, which the lawmaker’s office contended was not the same as endorsing the impeachment inquiry being led by Democrats.

The congressman, Mark Amodei, rejected the distinction that he was the first Republican House member to support the inquiry, with his spokeswoman, Logan Tucker, saying that the word “inquiry” gave the wrong impression that the congressman supported Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

That could be problematic for Mr. Amodei, who is chairman of Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign in Nevada, a state the president lost by about 27,000 votes to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Mr. Amodei spoke with Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, on Friday to clarify comments he had made earlier in the day during a conference call with reporters from his home state, Ms. Tucker said.

He also spoke to Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and the House minority leader, and to Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, according to Ms. Tucker, who said the word “inquiry” had been hijacked.

“It now means if you use the word ‘inquiry’ you support impeachment of the president,” Ms. Tucker said.

Mr. Amodei said on Friday that it made sense for Congress to investigate a whistle-blower’s complaint that Mr. Trump used a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president to advance his personal interests, including asking him to look into unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his younger son.

The congressman, a former federal prosecutor, said that he was a big fan of oversight and that Congress should let the chips fall where they might.

“Please, nobody hang up the phone and say, ‘Amodei is Pelosi’s defender,’” he said on the conference call.

Ms. Tucker said that while Mr. Amodei was on the same page as House Republican leaders and the White House, “misinformed conservatives,” such as Laura Ingraham, the Fox News host, had twisted his words.

“You can quote him on that,” Ms. Tucker said of Mr. Amodei, 61, who is from Carson City and was first elected in 2011.


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