For the 25th Congressional District, which covers much of Monroe County, a Democrat is once again heading to Washington.
Joe Morelle defeated his Republican challenger, Dr. Jim Maxwell, Tuesday, but he’s still calling the position Louise Slaughter’s seat, out of respect for the late congresswoman.
Thursday, Adam and Morelle talked about the firestorm he’s about to jump into:
Adam: You’ve seen what’s happened with the Attorney General, do you think the House has to play a role in protecting the Mueller investigation?
Morelle: I certainly hope both houses of the Congress would want to do that and I’m obviously disappointed (President Trump) made the decision to fire the Attorney General because I feel like we have to protect the rule of law in this country and it certainly at first blush looks like this decision was made around the investigation more than anything else and that would be troubling. We don’t want anything to impede that investigation no matter where it leads so I think we ought to continue to do that, we ought to protect that investigation, but not with an eye towards impeachment, but with an eye towards oversight.
Adam: Have you ruled out impeachment at this point?
Morelle: I would hope that we would not seek impeachment, I think it puts us immediately at odds. I’ve clearly expressed my disappointment in the President, but obviously if there’s compelling evidence that he’s committed treason, that’s a different circumstance, but I would not say that we should go down that road until there’s a compelling case to be made. I think the American public should decide who the President is, not through an impeachment process, but through an election process.
Adam: Will you support Nancy Pelosi as Speaker?
Morelle: I’m going to listen to anyone who has come forward. I’m going to listen to what their ideas are for the country and figure out what makes the most sense for this community and how I represent it.
Adam: Do you think the whole episode with the accusations of sexual assault on your colleague 17, 18 years ago and what progressed over the last year or so is going to carry with you?
Morelle: I apologize for something I said 20 years ago that I shouldn’t have said. I did it based on information that’s erroneous and I regret it and apologized to Elizabeth Crothers who came forward. Since that time, as she has said, and I wasn’t prepared to make this public out of respect for her, but we have begun a long series of conversations that began after the primary. She reached out to me and we’ve begun to talk about how to ensure that at the federal level and state level we have the best protections for men and women against sexual harassment and sexual assault in the work place so I’m going to continue to work on those issues and they will define my career in a positive way because my record on these issues on these issues has been one of strong support for women’s rights and I’ll continue you that.
Adam: Where did you find the energy to move forward and something this grand after the loss you experienced?
Morelle: People will tell you when experience this kind of loss that it’ll get better in time and I’ve learned that it doesn’t get better, but it does get different. And you have choices and you can curl up into a ball and believe me there are days when I feel like doing that and shutting the world or you could decide to do something positive about that and really channel that, so my daughter’s memory for me will be, she’s obviously with me in my heart every day and I’m going to use what she taught me in her life as motivation for how I can help change the world.