Jim Himes is a Democratic U.S. Representative for Connecticut’s 4th congressional district, a member of the House Intelligence Committee and a key figure in the Donald Trump impeachment hearings.
Himes was one of the more vocal democrats during the first impeachment hearing and made headlines on Wednesday after he rebuked Republican arguments in his opening statement.
“One thing that is startling about the proceedings is that faced with serious allegations of presidential misconduct, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle do not engage or defend that conduct, and rather they spin theories of black ledgers and Steele dossiers and startling revelations that the Ukrainians might have been upset when a presidential candidate suggested that perhaps he would let the Russians keep Crimea,” Himes said.
Himes was referring to GOP discussions about a ledger found in Ukraine that detailed millions of dollars in payments to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a dossier written by a former British intelligence officer that was used to begin the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
He also scolded the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, for attacking the media “and most disgustingly attacking the extraordinary men and women of the State Department and the FBI.”
Himes went on to ask State Department official George Kent, one of two witnesses testifying on Wednesday, what a “real anti-corruption effort” would look like in Ukraine.
“if we are doing a systemic, holistic program,” Kent said, and went on to say that the United States needed to depend on institutions with integrity in Ukraine and “that is going to start with investigators and then goes to the prosecutors and the courts and the corrections system.”
Himes then read part of a memo released by the White House of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which the president asked Ukraine’s leader to coordinate with U.S. Attorney General William Barr to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.
“When you hear that, do you think the president is requesting a well thought out, fully calibrated corruption program?” Himes asked.
“I do not,” Kent replied.
Himes continued his criticism of Trump on Friday while interviewing the former ambassador of Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. “I’m angry for every single foreign service officer … who right now might believe that a lifetime of service and sacrifice and excellence might be ignored by the president of the U.S. or, worse yet, attacked in language that would embarrass a mob boss.”
Jim Himes has been serving Connecticut’s 4th congressional district since 2009 and is the former chair of the New Democrat Coalition. He lives in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife, Mary, and two daughters, Emma and Linley.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He’s an Amateur Beekeeper
Jim Himes has picked up some unconventional hobbies in recent years. The CT Post did an interview with Himes last year where he showed them the hie he built in his backyard that is now home to 10,000 bees. He told the post that his newfound interest in beekeeping was “a response to 21st Century living.”
“I’m drawn to primal activities. And it’s a wonderful distraction.” He told the Post “When you work in Congress, handling bees is no problem all,”
Following his performance on Wednesday, Himes was giving interviews to press outlets and sent a photo of his fresh honey harvest to Buzzfeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith.
“What lessons from beekeeping are you taking to the impeachment process?” Smith asked the congressman. “Take it seriously, be cool and stay true or they will sting your ass,” Himes replied.
2. He Went Viral For a Passionate Rant on Meet The Press On The Impeachment Hearings
Jim Himes appeared on “Meet The Press” ahead of the impeachment hearings to discuss the Ukraine issue and grew incensed when Rand Paul tried to compare Joe Biden’s actions towards Ukraine with Donald Trump.
“The American people want fairness, and I don’t think they’re going to judge fairness when they are accusing President Trump of the same thing Joe Biden did, threatening the aid if some kind of corruption is not investigated,” Paul told Meet The Press, “It seems like everybody, both parties, have been threatening aid if some kind of investigation either doesn’t happen or has ended.”
Himes was not pleased with Rand’s argument, “The president of the United States demanding — extorting — a vulnerable country to do his political bidding, to go after his opponent, has nothing to do with Joe Biden executing the foreign policy of the United States,” Himes said following Rand’s comments, “What the president did is wrong and impeachable,”
“They are going to hear immensely patriotic, beautifully articulate people telling the story of a president,” Himes said of the impeachment hearings, “who extorted a vulnerable country by holding up military aid”.
The clip went viral on social media prior to the impeachment hearings.
3. He Grew Up in South America
Jim Himes was born July 6, 1966 in Lima, Peru. His parents are both American and his family was in Lima due to his father’s job at the Ford Foundation. Himes spent his early childhood in Lima and Bogota, Columbia before moving to Pennington, New Jersey to attend high school.
4. He Was Criticized For Co-Sponsoring a Bill Written By CitiGroup Lobbyists
Jim Himes drew the attention of “Represent US”, and organization dedicated to passing “powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections.” for his sponsorship of HR 992, a bill that would further deregulate derivatives, a financial instrument that played a major role in the 2008 crisis.
Represent US found out that CitiGroup was Himes’ largest donors and confronted him at a networking meeting with a big suitcase of fake cash. The stunt was meant to show how brazen the corruption was and what it looked like to the American people.
The prankster speaks to Rep. Hines and thanks him for his work on HR 992. Himes thanks the fake lobbyist when he drops the briefcase, exposing bundles of fake cash. Other event attendees try to help him pick up the money, not realizing it’s a prank, and Himes walks away nervously smiling at the whole ordeal. The prankster also offers money to Rep. Himes who declines.
“Jim Himes also sits on the House Financial Services Committee. He’s supposed to regulate the financial sector,” Represent US wrote on their website, “and instead he’s letting their lobbyists write our laws. It’s flagrantly corrupt, and astonishingly legal.”
5. He Predicted the Mueller Hearings Would Be a ‘Letdown’
Rep. Himes was trying to temper expectations of the Mueller hearing before they began. “It’s possible the hearing may be a letdown, because Bob Mueller is a very careful person,” Himes told the Hartford Courant. “I expect it will be frustrating because this is a huge and explosive issue and Bob Mueller will be dry and clinical.”
Instead of expecting a “gotcha” moment or some salacious revelation, Himes said the hearing would be “an opportunity for Americans to see that they have a deeply unethical president,” adding that “I hope that it’s an opportunity for Americans to learn about the result of Russian attacks on the election so that we may be aware of what might happen in the future,” Himes said.
Despite the underwhelming nature of the hearings, Himes was responsible for one of the more memorable and somewhat surprising revelations when he got Mueller to clarify that the Russian interference by computer hacking and on social media was meant to benefit the Trump campaign. Mueller did not speculate as to whether it materially influenced the election outcome.