Democrats holding vulnerable seats in the House of Representatives have continued to come out in support of impeachment in recent days, signaling a more unified front on the matter than their Republican colleagues have suggested.
On Dec. 13, the House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of impeaching Donald Trump after a monthslong investigation examined whether he’d coerced Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, a personal and political rival. A report the committee released Wednesday laid out why Trump is facing two articles of impeachment, for abuse of power and obstructing the congressional investigation.
The president “betrayed the Nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections,” the report said.
In the days since the Judiciary Committee voted on the articles of impeachment, a number of Democrats holding seats in conservative-leaning districts — some of whom helped Democrats reclaim the House in 2018 — have expressed support for the articles, defying claims by conservative politicians and pundits that vulnerable Democrats would not vote for impeachment out of concern for their futures.
Freshman Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), for example, announced in a tweet Tuesday she plans to vote in favor of impeachment despite potential backlash from her Republican constituents.
Sherrill defeated her Republican opponent handily in a 2018 race to represent New Jersey’s 11th District, which narrowly favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections.
On Tuesday, Sherrill joined a chorus of other Democrats from similar districts calling for impeachment.
Freshman Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), whose district Trump won by 15 points in 2016, also announced his plans to vote in favor of impeachment. Brindisi defeated Republican incumbent Claudia Tenney by just under 2 percentage points in the 2018 midterm election.
“I took an oath to defend the Constitution,” Brindisi wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday, adding, “What the president has ― on national television ― admitted to doing is not something I can pretend is normal behavior.”
And freshman Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne, a Democrat whose 2018 victory came in a district Trump narrowly won in 2016, said she would support the articles of impeachment as well.
“After carefully reviewing the evidence presented from the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, it’s clear the President abused his power,” Axne said in a press release.
The deluge of support for the articles of impeachment continued as Democratic representatives across the country chimed in with their rationale on Tuesday.
“The President has demonstrated a pattern of corrupt behavior, and abused his power for his own personal gain when he pressured foreign leaders to conduct investigations into political rivals,” Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) said Tuesday afternoon. Underwood, a former policy adviser in the Obama administration, defeated a Republican incumbent in a pro-Trump district in 2016 — but she’d largely avoided wading into the impeachment debate until Tuesday.
Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.) was another who announced her support for impeachment after months of speaking gingerly about the process. Horn defeated the district’s Republican incumbent by slightly more than a percentage point in the 2018 midterm, winning in territory Trump won by 13 percentage points in 2016. But in a statement Tuesday, the representative said she made her decision to support articles of impeachment “with clarity of conviction.”
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday, Trump claimed he had been afforded less due process during the impeachment hearings than the women murdered during the Salem witch trials. He denounced any member of the House supporting the articles.
“Any member of Congress who votes in support of impeachment — against every shred of truth, fact, evidence, and legal principle — is showing how deeply they revile the voters and how truly they detest America’s Constitutional order,” he said.
Several members of the Trump administration have testified under oath during the impeachment inquiry and corroborated claims from a whistleblower that Trump used his office to extract damaging information on Biden and spread pro-Russia conspiracy theories.
This article has been updated to include Rep. Kendra Horn.