Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio was among the Republicans in the House of Representatives who, in 1998, voted to impeach President Bill Clinton. Chabot is still a member of the House Judiciary Committee 21 years later, but now that President Donald Trump could be the one facing impeachment, Chabot is singing a very different tune — and in a recent interview with the Atlantic’s Russell Berman, he jumped through hoops to explain why he believes that Clinton deserved impeachment but Trump doesn’t.
During the interview, the 66-year-old Chabot defended his vote to impeach Clinton — saying, “I thought it was the right thing to do because I thought the president had committed perjury and therefore, deserved to be impeached. That was the decision I came to, and I’ve stood by that. And I still do.”
Chabot went on to claim that while Clinton committed perjury in the late 1990s, Trump has not. Berman, in response, asked Chabot if he believed that Trump lied when he wasn’t under oath — and the congressman evasively responded, “I would not contend that probably most politicians haven’t lied. I try not to, and I can’t think of another time that I have.”
Berman asked Chabot if there was anything in Mueller’s report that could lead him to believe that Trump might have committed obstruction of justice during the Russia investigation.
The Ohio congressman responded: “I would just say that we ought to, at all times, be honest about all matters, particularly if they’re involved in representing the public in some capacity. That ought to be the way we operate all the time. And I’ll just leave it there.”
When Berman asked Chabot if he was willing to acknowledge “that perhaps the president has not been honest at all times,” he responded, “No, I’m not prepared to go there.”