Oct 13, 2019

Just 7 House Democrats continue to oppose the impeachment inquiry

Rep. Jeff Van Drew. Photo: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post/Getty Images

As the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump barrels on full speed ahead, at least 7 of the 235 Democrats in the House are continuing to hold out or openly criticize their party for pursuing impeachment, according to NBC News.

The big picture: All 7 holdouts represent districts that Trump won in the 2016 presidential election, and most are freshmen lawmakers elected in the 2018 midterms. They consider their seats vulnerable and fear that impeachment will cost their party its House majority in the 2020 elections, despite polls showing that public support for impeaching Trump is rising.

What they're saying: Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) has become one of the Democratic Party's most vocal opponents to impeaching President Trump.

  • "Everybody says, 'Be on the right side of history' — I think the right side of history is not to impeach," Van Drew told NBC News.
  • Van Drew says he has not seen convincing evidence that the president committed crimes with his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and that it would be better to allow voters to pass judgment on the president on Election Day in 2020 — especially considering that it's highly unlikely the Republican Senate would vote to convict.
  • Ezra Levin, a co-founder of progressive political group Indivisible, told NBC News that the Democratic holdouts are "going to look like cowards, trying to have a foot on either side of this — and that's a good way to end up underwater. ... The fact of the matter is they will be running for re-election with a 'D' next to their name and the Democrats are going to be pushing for impeachment."

Between the lines: While it's true that the 2020 election is only about a year away, some Democrats counter Van Drew's argument by claiming that Trump's alleged solicitation of foreign interference undermines the country's ability to have a free and fair election.

The 7 Democrats:

  • Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.)
  • Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine)
  • Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.)
  • Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.)
  • Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)
  • Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.)

Go deeper: Trump's Senate red wall against impeachment

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that Rep. Brindisi's first name is Anthony (not Andrew).

Go deeper

The 2 House Democrats who voted against the Trump impeachment resolution

Reps. Van Drew and Peterson. Photos: Alex Wong/Getty Images; Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Democratic Reps. Collin Peterson (Minn.) and Jeff Van Drew (N.J.) broke ranks with their party and voted against the resolution setting out the procedures for President Trump's impeachment inquiry on Thursday.

Why it matters: Both have long been holdouts on the inquiry and represent districts Trump won in the 2016 presidential election.

Go deeperArrowOct 31, 2019

13 Republicans involved in impeachment protest already have access to hearings

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

13 of the 41 Republican lawmakers who were listed by Rep. Matt Gaetz as planning to storm a closed-door hearing Wednesday to protest an alleged lack of transparency in the impeachment inquiry sit on committees with the power to question witnesses and review documents.

The big picture: The inquiry is currently being led by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, which are comprised of 48 Republicans in total. House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) has asked the House Sergeant at Arms to "take action" against the members involved in Wednesday's protest, after lawmakers reportedly brought cellphones inside the classified room and forced the deposition to be delayed for five hours.

Go deeperArrowOct 23, 2019

Trump impeachment starts more partisan than Bill Clinton's

A shot you rarely see: Cameras were allowed in the House chamber yesterday. Above the flag, over the clock, is the press gallery. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

During the House's historic vote to set the ground rules for the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, members shouted and booed as the votes popped up in lights on the wall above them.

Why it matters: The Legislative Branch embarks on its ultimate weapon against the Executive Branch with the two parties locked in corners.

Go deeperArrowNov 1, 2019