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.
By the numbers: 2016 Partisan Voter Index for their districts, via Cook Political Report:
- Van Drew (New Jersey's 2nd district): Donald Trump: 50.6%, Hillary Clinton: 46.0%
- Peterson (Minnesota's 7th district): Donald Trump: 61.4%, Hillary Clinton: 30.8%
What they're saying...
Van Drew: "Without bipartisan support, I believe this inquiry will further divide the country, tearing it apart at the seams, and will ultimately fail in the Senate."
- However, he did note that he would consider the inquiry on its merits now that it has passed: "I will be making a judgement call based on all the evidence presented by these investigations."
Peterson: "This impeachment process continues to be hopelessly partisan. I have been hearing from my constituents on both sides of this matter for months, and the escalation of calls this past week just shows me how divided our country really is right now."
- "Today's vote is both unnecessary, and widely misrepresented in the media and by Republicans as a vote on impeachment. I will not make a decision on impeachment until all the facts have been presented."
The bottom line: Because at least seven of the 235 House Democrats openly criticized their party for pursuing impeachment, it's impressive that Speaker Nancy Pelosi managed to keep the number of rebels to two.