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Local News

Republican rivals take aim at Underwood impeachment comments

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville
U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood’s comments about her support for an investigation into whether to impeach President Donald Trump last week sparked a reaction from her potential 2020 opponents.

During a town hall meeting in Shorewood on Tuesday, and then later on Twitter, Underwood said she supported an investigation by the House Judiciary Committee into accusations that the Trump campaign welcomed foreign help. She cited Chairman Jerry Nadler’s characterization of the investigation as “essentially an impeachment inquiry.”

“No one wins when Congress is compelled to investigate impeachment or bring about articles of impeachment,” she said. “This is a tragedy for our country.”

Still, she stopped short of saying the House of Representatives should vote to impeach the president now. While she also said the investigation still has to answer questions that Robert Mueller’s report did not, Republicans took aim at her comments.

James Marter, an Oswego Republican vying for the chance to unseat Underwood, likened her to members of the squad, a reference to four fellow Democratic members of Congress known for their progressive views, in a news release.

“It is now crystal clear to the constituents of the Illinois 14th district that Rep. Lauren Underwood’s agenda only caters directly to the radical and irrational Democratic caucus,” Marter said in the release.

On his campaign Facebook page, Marter included a photo of Underwood with the words “Underwood joins the squad” on it.

Both Ted Gradel, a Naperville businessman, and state Sen. Sue Rezin used the opportunity to cite previous comments made by Underwood in which she shied away from impeachment and said talk of Russian interference was just “noise” to her constituents.

“She is capitulating to the national left-wing resistance organizations who selected her as one of a handful of candidates for massive campaign help in 2018,” Rezin said.

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