Fourteen House Democrats, many from congressional districts where President Donald Trump won in 2016, are still publicly withholding support for an impeachment inquiry following revelations the president pressured the Ukranian government into relaunching an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.

Of the 14 members, all but one are considered moderates, and all but one are Republican targets in the 2020 midterm elections. Eleven of them are serving their first term in Congress, and another won a special election in 2018. Most have said they believe impeaching Trump would be needlessly divisive and inflame political tensions, while others indicated impeachment must be a bipartisan process — an unlikely scenario — or said they were still seeking more information about Trump’s actions.

“If anyone thinks a partisan impeachment process would constrain President Trump, they are fooling themselves,” Rep. Collin Peterson told the Detroit Lakes Tribune. “Without significant bipartisan support, impeachment proceedings will be a lengthy and divisive action with no resolution.”

Peterson, considered one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, represents a sprawling, agriculture-heavy district in western Minnesota that Trump won by 30 percentage points. Peterson himself won reelection by a 52% to 48% margin in 2018, and faces a stiff challenge from former GOP Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach in 2020.

Besides Peterson, the 13 holdouts in HuffPost’s count are: Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath, Texas Rep. Colin Allred, New York Rep. Anthony Brindisi, South Carolina Rep. Joe Cunningham, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Maine Rep. Jared Golden, Oklahoma Rep. Kendra Horn, Wisconsin Rep. Ron Kind, Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb, Utah Rep. Ben McAdams, New York Rep. Max Rose, New Mexico Rep. Xochitl Torres Small and New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew.

The other moderates represent a broad swath of swing-to-conservative territory, mostly in suburban and rural America: Trump won the district represented by McBath, which covers the northern suburbs of Atlanta, by just 5,000 votes. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton actually won the Dallas-based district of Allred’s, a former NFL linebacker, and Allred himself won it by six percentage points. Van Drew, a conservative former state legislator, won his seat centered around Atlantic City and the Philadelphia suburbs by eight percentage points after Trump won it by four points in 2016. Torres Small represents a rural border district in southern New Mexico, winning it by under 4,000 votes after a 14,000-vote Trump triumph two years earlier.

Cunningham, who represents Charleston and the rest of coastal South Carolina, also tried to distance himself from a congressional leadership that is all-in on an impeachment investigation.

“I’ve warned members of my own party that a partisan rush to impeach the President would be bad for the country,” he told McClatchy.

Of the impeachment process opponents, one stands out: Gabbard, a 2020 presidential candidate who represents a district Clinton won by 32 percentage points in 2018.

“I believe that impeachment at this juncture would be terribly divisive for the country at a time when we are already extremely divided,” she said on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday. “The hyperpartisanship is one of the main things driving our country apart.”

Gabbard, who is polling in the single digits and is struggling to make the stage at the next Democratic presidential debate, has long embraced views and taken actions considered unorthodox or fringe in the party.

But Gabbard, a military veteran who was once considered a rising star in the party, is also facing a potential primary challenge in her home district in Hawaii. State Sen. Kai Kahele, who already has the endorsement of three former Democratic governors in the state, highlighted his support for Hawaii Democrats who back impeachment in a tweet Thursday morning.

“After reading the 5 page Ukraine call memo and watching President Trump’s unhinged & rambling press conference today, it is more clear than ever that the House must move swiftly with its impeachment inquiry,” Kahele wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

— Kai Kahele (@kaikahele) September 26, 2019 Download REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus

Source Link: