1576524736_social


WASHINGTON—More Democrats from competitive House districts are getting behind their party’s effort to impeach President Trump ahead of a planned vote this week, despite some fears that their position could put their seats at risk.

The House plans to vote on Wednesday. With Mr. Trump’s impeachment looking likely, Democratic leaders were also set to announce as early as Monday which members had been suggested as impeachment managers—essentially prosecutors—during the Senate trial, which is expected to kick off in January.

Democrats have largely united behind impeachment. By early Monday, at least 14 Democrats from the 31 districts that Mr. Trump won in 2016 had announced they would support the abuse-of-power and obstruction of Congress charges, according to a Wall Street Journal survey, with two saying they are opposed.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin

of Michigan, a first-term Democrat representing a district Mr. Trump won, said in an opinion article that she was supporting impeachment, citing the danger to democracy from Mr. Trump’s behavior.

As the articles of impeachment move to the full House for a vote, WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib has three takeaways from the impeachment process thus far. Photo: Getty

“I’ve been told more times that I can count that the vote I’ll be casting this week will mark the end of my short political career. That may be,” she wrote. “There are some decisions in life that have to be made based on what you know in your bones is right.”

“This could make us one-term members, and if that’s the case so be it,” Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, a freshman Democrat who supports impeachment, said in a weekend interview.

Two Democrats have said they are opposed, including one, Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who has indicated he will switch parties over his decision to break with Democrats over impeachment. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota has also said he would vote against impeachment.

Several members of Mr. Van Drew’s staff resigned over the weekend after he informed them of the planned party switch. Mr. Van Drew hasn’t officially informed Democratic leadership that he is switching parties, according to a Democratic aide.

Democrats have a majority of about three dozen seats in the House, so they can afford some defections. No House Republicans support impeachment.

Mr. Trump has called the impeachment effort a partisan effort to remove him from office. “The Impeachment Hoax is the greatest con job in the history of American politics!” he said on Twitter Monday morning.

The House Judiciary Committee early Monday released a 658-page report summarizing their case for impeaching Mr. Trump on the grounds that he abused his power by withholding nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine and a coveted White House meeting in order to pressure the nation to announce investigations that could benefit him politically. The panel has also approved an article charging Mr. Trump with obstructing Congress.

“In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ ” the Democrats said in the report.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) was set to hold a news conference Monday afternoon. He has proposed to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) that the Senate hear from four witnesses, including former national security adviser

John Bolton

and acting White House chief of staff

Mick Mulvaney.

The Senate leaders are set to meet ahead of the trial.

“Leader McConnell has made it clear he plans to meet with Leader Schumer to discuss the contours of a trial soon. That timeline has not changed,” said Doug Andres, a spokesman for Mr. McConnell.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) said “very informal conversations” had begun between Senate Democrats and some Republicans about possible cooperation on procedural motions.

“They might eventually vote against impeachment, but they’d vote with us on the process,” he said. “All we need is a handful.”

Among those Republican senators that Democrats hope might vote with them, at least on some matters related to rules or witnesses, are

Susan Collins

of Maine,

Mitt Romney

of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and

Lamar Alexander

of Tennessee, who is retiring.

Ms. Collins told reporters last week that she was hoping Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate might reach a broad agreement on the rules for the trial, as they did during the Clinton impeachment in 1999. Although that agreement passed unanimously, a later motion dealing with witnesses passed along party lines.

A two-thirds vote in the Republican-controlled Senate is required to remove Mr. Trump from office, and Mr. McConnell has said he sees no chance of that happening.

Write to Siobhan Hughes at siobhan.hughes@wsj.com and Lindsay Wise at lindsay.wise@wsj.com

Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8



Source link

About the Author:

Leave a Reply