Impeachment has been on Democrats' minds since before President Donald Trump took office. They disliked him from the moment he stepped on the political scene. Once he won the 2016 election, the Democrats began to plot to take him down. For more than two years, we heard about how the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. The Democrats handpicked Special Counsel Robert Mueller to lead their investigation into Russia. And guess what? He found no collusion took place.
When Mueller failed to deliver the "smoking gun" they had been waiting for, the Democrats latched onto President Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They've run with the idea that quid pro quo – or bribery – took place. Trump released transcripts that showed that no quid pro quo took place. He didn't threaten to withhold military aid unless Zelensky looked into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, for corruption.
Polling has continually shown that Americans do not want a duly elected president impeached. But Democrats put their members from heavily pro-Trump districts in a bind. They're now having to decide: do they do the right thing and vote against impeachment or do they vote with their party?
These are the vulnerable Democrats from red districts and how they plan to vote:
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) - voting yes
In the national security world, we are trained to make hard calls, even if they are unpopular –– if we believe the security of the country is at stake.— Rep. Elissa Slotkin (@RepSlotkin) December 16, 2019
I will be voting yes on both articles of impeachment. And I want all of my constituents to know why: https://t.co/JvJN0jkAdS
Rep. Haley Stevens (MI-11) - voting yes
The facts are clear that President Trump abused the powers of his office and deliberately obstructed the investigation into this abuse. Out of solemn duty to the rule of law and our Constitution, I plan to vote in favor of both articles of impeachment. https://t.co/cTNOxObkKY— Rep. Haley Stevens (@RepHaleyStevens) December 17, 2019
Rep. Angie Craig (MN-02) - voting yes
Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-07) - unsure but likely voting no
Peterson is still unsure about how he's going to vote on the articles of impeachment once it comes to the full House floor for a vote. He told MPR news on Monday that he generally likes to see all of the information on an issue before making a decision. Peterson plans to vote against impeachment “unless they come up with something between now and Wednesday,” although it's highly unlikely.
Republicans have approached Peterson about leaving the Democratic Party and becoming Republican, something the 15-term Congressman said no to.
"I'm staying in the party, in spite of some of the stuff that's going on that I don't agree with, I am not going switch parties at this stage of my career," Peterson told KFGO. "There have been overtures by the highest levels of the Republican party in the last couple weeks to ask if I would consider it and I told them no."
Rep. Chris Pappa (NH-01) - voting yes
This is about the facts, the Constitution, and my conscience. What the President has done is blatantly wrong, and I will not stand idly by when a President compromises the rule of law and our national security for his own personal political benefit. https://t.co/mE8jWZr1nm pic.twitter.com/CEXEILoV0z— Rep. Chris Pappas (@RepChrisPappas) December 15, 2019
Rep. Jeffrey Van Drew (NJ-02) - voting no and switching parties
Out of all of the vulnerable Democrats, Rep. Jeffrey Van Drew is the one who has caused quite the stir. He announced that he would vote against the Democrats' articles of impeachment and will be switching political parties. Once Van Drew announced that he would become a Republican, five of his top aides quit. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) promised to hire those staffers until they found a job that aligned with their personal values.
Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03) - voting yes
This week, the House will take up articles of impeachment against the president. It is with a sense of humility, and with the future of our Constitution and presidency in mind, that I will vote yes on the articles of impeachment before the House. pic.twitter.com/3Bv75HCH0j— RepAndyKim (@RepAndyKimNJ) December 16, 2019
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) - voting yes
Gottheimer Statement on Articles of Impeachment pic.twitter.com/zFNPH4XRpA— Rep Josh Gottheimer (@RepJoshG) December 17, 2019
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) - voting yes
My military service taught me to put our country — not politics — first, and my time as a federal prosecutor taught me about the importance of the rule of law and of justice.— Rep. Mikie Sherrill (@RepSherrill) December 17, 2019
I will be voting in favor of the Articles of Impeachment. pic.twitter.com/Yv7RT16Fyp
Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02) - voting yes
“After serious consideration, I believe impeachment is the necessary response to President Trump’s use of the Executive Office of the President for his own personal and political gain. We cannot allow any President of either party to abuse the power of the highest office, jeopardizing our country's national security in the process, to pressure foreign leaders to conduct investigations against political rivals," Torres Small told the Las Cruces Sun News in a statement. "We also cannot allow any President to obstruct Congress’ power to investigate impeachable offenses by prohibiting White House and other administration officials from testifying or providing evidence. I must act to protect our national security, our Constitution, and the integrity of our elections."
Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03) - voting yes
“This is a grave decision that requires thorough and solemn deliberation,” Lee said in a statement. to the Las Vegas Review Journal. “After weighing all of the facts, I will be voting in support of impeachment of the president.”
Rep. Max Rose (NY-11) - voting yes
Party and politics will never come before the country I bled to protect — and would unquestionably do so again. Therefore I will vote in support of the two Articles of Impeachment. pic.twitter.com/IqW5Ik6nvR— Rep. Max Rose (@RepMaxRose) December 13, 2019
I came to D.C. to take on both parties and get things done. In the past year alone we passed legislation to finally build the East Shore Seawall, permanently fund the 9/11 VCF, and enact sanctions on Chinese pharmaceutical companies for pumping fentanyl into our communities.— Rep. Max Rose (@RepMaxRose) December 13, 2019
We’ve also beat FEMA, the Port Authority, and secured much needed funding for transportation projects. Whether the Senate votes to remove the President or not, I will continue to focus on getting results for the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn.— Rep. Max Rose (@RepMaxRose) December 13, 2019
Rep. Sean Maloney (NY-18) - voting yes
From the start, I have had a high bar for impeachment. But the President’s conduct has left us no alternative.— Sean Patrick Maloney (@RepSeanMaloney) December 13, 2019
If we are to be faithful to the people we serve and the oath we take to the Constitution, we must hold this president or any president accountable for such misconduct. https://t.co/luFS7cT03T
Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19) - voting yes
Having reviewed the articles of impeachment and the underlying evidence, my conscience tells me that the right thing to do is abide by my oath of office and vote affirmatively for both articles. pic.twitter.com/zMwn5LjAPl— Congressman Antonio Delgado (@repdelgado) December 15, 2019
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) - voting yes
President Trump is my President too. I’ve always said I would work with him to get things done, as I have demonstrated. However, I will always put Country first and stand up for what I believe in when I think he is wrong.— Rep. Anthony Brindisi (@RepBrindisi) December 17, 2019
Today I am what I have always been, a person privileged to live in the greatest democracy in history. It is with profound sadness I will vote to impeach President Trump.— Rep. Anthony Brindisi (@RepBrindisi) December 17, 2019
I will be voting not as Democrat or Republican but as an American who has been given this responsibility by the people I serve and the community I love.— Rep. Anthony Brindisi (@RepBrindisi) December 17, 2019
Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-05) - voting yes
It's with a heavy heart, but with clarity of conviction that I have made my decision. The oath I took to protect and defend the Constitution requires a vote for impeachment. The articles before us allege an abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The facts substantiate both. pic.twitter.com/57LtDQAhm8— Congresswoman Kendra Horn (@RepKendraHorn) December 17, 2019
Inviting foreign interference in our elections strikes at the heart of our democracy, threatens our security, and is an abuse of power. The President obstructed Congress by withholding evidence, refusing to comply with lawful subpoenas, and prohibiting officials from testifying.— Congresswoman Kendra Horn (@RepKendraHorn) December 17, 2019
I did not come to Congress seeking impeachment, nor do I agree with the extreme voices on either side. But we must act to protect our Constitution, the integrity of our elections, and our national security.— Congresswoman Kendra Horn (@RepKendraHorn) December 17, 2019
Matt Cartwright (PA-08) - voting yes
“At some point, it becomes necessary to announce certain conduct by an American president as unacceptable. There have been credible allegations this week that the President abused the power of his office, on the international stage, for his own political gain," Cartwright said in a statement. "We need to get to the bottom of these serious allegations through comprehensive impeachment proceedings and document production. Whether such hearings result in actual impeachment of the president and/or senior cabinet officials remains to be seen.”
Rep. Conor Lamb (PA-17) - voting yes
Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01) - voting yes
“I’ve waited and waited and I have not found any evidence they submitted compelling at all,” Cunningham told the The Post and Courier. “At the end of day, this is simply about the rule of law, whether we’re a country with laws or not and what type of precedent we want to set for future presidents.”
“For the president to withhold that to curry a personal and political favor that would help his reelection at the expense of America, I just find that something all of us must stand against,” he said.
Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04) - voting yes
I will vote yes. People I respect have reached different conclusions on the best course of action. We agree what the President did was wrong. I continue working on making prescription drugs affordable, air quality, and reducing the debt. My statement?? #utpol pic.twitter.com/S4RsWhVjgf— Rep. Ben McAdams (@RepBenMcAdams) December 16, 2019
Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-02) - voting yes
See below for my statement ahead of the House's vote on impeachment. pic.twitter.com/5gIqW9CKP2— Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) December 17, 2019
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) - voting yes
I have studied the articles of impeachment, both Republican and Democratic reports, deposition transcripts, and public testimony. With a heavy heart and a solemn devotion to our Constitution, I will vote in favor of both articles. Read my full statement: https://t.co/yDm7KvlDD3 pic.twitter.com/3gdP6O7mnK— Rep. Abigail Spanberger (@RepSpanberger) December 16, 2019
Rep. Ron Kind (WI-03) - still unsure