Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence has abruptly announced she does not see “the value” of impeaching the president during an election year.
The Michigan representative, who has previously supported Sen. Kamala Harris’ calls for impeachment, made the announcement on Sunday in a Michigan radio interview.
“We are so close to an election,” Lawrence said on No BS News Hour. “I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don’t see the value of taking him out of office.
“But I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable. It’s in violation of office and of the oath of office of a president of the United States, and we have to be clear that you cannot use your power of the presidency to withhold funds to get a foreign country to investigate an American citizen for your own personal gain. There’s no way around that.”
Instead of kicking Trump out of office, Lawrence says she wants to have a discussion with the rest of her party and caucus to censure the president.
“I want him censured. I want it on the record that the House of Representatives did their job and they told this president and any president coming behind him that this is unacceptable behavior and, under our Constitution, we will not allow it,” she said.
“I am a Democrat, but I am an independent United States of America citizen.”
Lawrence’s announcement comes on the heels of polls showing that support for impeachment has slipped significantly.
Among Hispanics, the numbers went from an overwhelming 73 percent in October to 48 percent in November.
A survey conducted by Politico/Morning Consult found that just 27 percent of independents listed impeachment as a top priority among the 11 issues they were asked to rank, according to Vanity Fair, which analyzed the data.
Another 10 percent listed it as a priority, but not a top one.
“I feel strongly that for my legacy, for my time in history, sitting here at this table with an oath of office to protect this country, to protect the democracy of the United States of America, I cannot sit silent, that I must move forward with [impeachment] because this is egregious,” she said.
Lawrence is not the first Democrat to break from the party. While the formal impeachment inquiry resolution was passed at the end of October in the house by a vote of 232-196, two Democratic representatives voted against it: New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew and Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson.
“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,” Van Drew said at the time, according to NBC News.
According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, Peterson “has called the impeachment process futile, unnecessarily divisive and a bad use of Congress’ time.”
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