Former Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Bill Clinger, who oversaw U.S. House investigations of two Clinton administration scandals, on Thursday joined the largest group of ex-GOP elected officials to oppose party nominee Donald J. Trump.
Clinger, 87, represented the 5th District in north-central Pennsylvania for nine terms and was chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight committee. He led the probe of "Travelgate," the 1993 firing of career employees of the White House Travel Office in favor of friends of President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton. Clinger also headed the congressional investigation of the "Filegate" matter, allegations that senior administration figures, including Hillary Clinton, improperly accessed the FBI background files of Republican political opponents. (She and the president were later exonerated by special prosecutor Kenneth Starr.)
The Republican officials said that Trump, a real-estate developer, was an affront to the values the GOP stands for and, in their view, is not worthy to be president.
"In nominating Donald Trump, the Republican Party has asked the people of the United States to entrust their future to a man who insults women, mocks the handicapped, urges that dissent be met with violence, seeks to impose religious tests for entry into the United States, and applies a de facto ethnicity test to judges," the statement said. "He offends our allies and praises dictators. His public statements are peppered with lies. He belittles our heroes and insults the parents of men who have died serving our country. Every day brings a fresh revelation that highlights the unacceptable danger in electing him to lead our nation."
Among the other 30 signatories of the statement are former Republican Reps. Jim Leach of Iowa, Tom Petri of Wisconsin, and G. William Whitehurst of Virginia, all from important swing states.