Centrist Democrats Ready to Impeach Trump

Party has fewer defectors than expected
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2019 8:01 AM CST
Centrist Democrats Ready to Impeach Trump
A protest rally Monday, December 16, 2019, near Congressman Matt Cartrights Wilkes-Barre Field office Office on Penn Place in Wilkes Barre, Pa..   (Mark Moran/The Citizens' Voice via AP)

A House vote to impeach President Trump is expected Wednesday—and few lawmakers on either side appear to be wavering, despite the high-profile defection of soon-to-be-former Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew. A succession of centrist Democrats from Republican-leaning districts declared their support for impeachment Monday, including freshman Rep. Abigail Spanberger, whose Virginia district voted for Trump in 2016, the Washington Post reports. Trump's actions "violate his oath of office, endanger our national security, and betray the public trust," Spanberger said in a statement. At a town hall meeting in Michigan Monday, Rep. Elissa Slotkin told a divided crowd that she would vote to impeach. "There just has to be a moment where you use the letter of the law for what it's intended," she said.

Support for impeachment among the centrists solidified Monday and at least 17 of the 31 Democrats from Trump-supporting districts are now expected to vote in favor. Apart from Van Drew, who is expected to officially become a Republican within days, Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, is the only Democrat who has said he will vote against impeachment, the Hill reports. On the Republican side, meanwhile, not a single lawmaker is expected to vote to impeach Trump. The House Rules Committee will meet Tuesday for what the AP predicts will be a marathon session to set the parameters for Wednesday's House debate. The House Judiciary Committee released its final impeachment argument Monday. (Six of Van Drew's aides have resigned.)

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