First House Democrat Opposes Impeachment: 'I Don't See The Value' of Removing Trump
Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Michigan publicly pushes back on impeachment
Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Michigan has become the first House Democrat to publicly oppose impeaching President Donald Trump, stating she would ask her caucus to censure rather than remove him from office.
Speaking on the Michigan radio show No BS News Hour with host Charlie LeDuff on Sunday, Lawrence told LeDuff:
"We are so close to an election. I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don't see the value of taking him out of office," Lawrence said.
"I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable."
"I want to censure. 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."
Lawrence also added she would have a "discussion with the party and with the caucus" to censure the president as opposed to impeaching him.
But her comments were a far stretch from her interview with Sirius XM host Dean Obeidallah last month, where she appeared to back impeachment.
"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," Lawrence said.
Lawrence represents a district that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won with a roughly 60% margin in the 2016 presidential election.
The district has had no Republican presentation since 1948.
Newt Gingrich Blames “Dishonest, Arrogant, Unfair” Adam Schiff For “Personally Turning Tide” Against Impeachment— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) November 26, 2019
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On Monday, Freshman swing-district Democrat Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) said she “did not run” to “impeach” President Donald Trump.
“What I’m for is doing the hard work for the people of this district," she said.
"I didn’t run for this seat to impeach the president. Go back and check my 18 months of running for this office; there is nothing in there about that," she added.
Last week, Impeachment witnesses Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a top National Security Council official who was present at President Donald Trump's Ukraine phone call, gave testimonies on Tuesday confirming no bribery, no quid pro quo, and no extortion.
Last month, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff's anonymous "whistleblower," whose complaint about President Donald Trump's phone conversation with Ukraine's leader triggered the impeachment inquiry, was named as CIA analyst and former Joe Biden employee Eric Ciaramella.