WINCHESTER — Impeaching President Donald Trump is “on the table” Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-10th, said Sunday during a town hall meeting that touched on a number of different subjects of interest to her constituents.
The town hall, which was held at the Shenandoah University’s Halphin-Harrison Hall, drew a crowd of about 200. Several of her constituents asked if she would support impeaching the president, based on findings from special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s report, which detailed findings from an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“Everything is on the table and that includes impeachment,” Wexton said. “Right now there are investigations going on in multiple committees. You don’t hear about it on the news as much, but we, since day one, have been conducting our oversight function in Congress. And that is something that I take very seriously.”
Asked if she supported House Resolution 257 — which directs the House Committee on the Judiciary to inquire whether the House of Representatives should impeach Trump — Wexton said: “As you know, I was a prosecutor. And as you know I’m very deliberate and thorough, and I don’t want to go down any road until I have all the facts I need to know it’s a good one to go down. So all options are on the table.”
While running against Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock in late 2018, Wexton pledged if she were elected to Congress to hold regular town hall meetings. In addition to Trump, other topics discussed Sunday included gun safety laws, election security, climate change and LGBTQ rights.
Friday’s shooting of 12 people in Virginia Beach brought gun safety laws to the forefront at the town hall. Wexton’s advocacy in Congress for universal background checks on guns drew praise from local members of the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Wexton is also in favor of banning high-capacity magazines. “I don’t believe that weapons of war belong on America’s streets,” Wexton said.
When asked about how to address climate change, Wexton said she is proud to be a member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. She said she has been working to create incentives for green energy production and is in favor of transit options that keep cars off the roads.
Wexton said she would like more “basic election security measures” be implemented to ensure that the results of elections are accurate, such as having paper ballots. She has also supported the For the People Act (HR 1), designed to expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics and and strengthen ethics rules for public servants.
One of Wexton’s constituents expressed fears that the LGBTQ community is under attack in the current administration. On May 22, the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a rule that would allow federally-funded shelters to deny people admission on religious grounds or force transgender women to share bathrooms and sleeping quarters with men.
Wexton told the crowd she has introduced legislation — the Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act — that would block HUD from allowing homeless shelters to deny transgender people equal access to services. Wexton also voted in favor of the Equality Act, which recently passed in the House. The bill would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
“We will hold them accountable,” Wexton said. “We are looking out for you and will make sure that you stay safe.”
A rabbi from Leesburg pointed out that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists 39 active hate groups across the Commonwealth. He wondered how much the county should tolerate these nationally-based hate groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, before it could finally call them domestic terrorists and take the appropriate enforcement actions. He said many are concerned about their safety.
“I am cognizant of the First Amendment concerns,” Wexton said. “But there does come a point at which it’s not protected speech anymore — it’s hate speech.”
Wexton has an office in Winchester at 100 N. Loudoun St., Suite 120. For more information, call 703-236-1300.