Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson Suggests He Opposes Impeachment, but Votes in Favor of Inquiry

Collin Peterson
Danny Johnston/AP Photo

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) is one of 11 Democrats in the House of Representatives who represent districts Donald Trump won in 2016 who have not made public statements fully supporting the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the president.

“If anyone thinks a partisan impeachment process would constrain President Trump, they are fooling themselves,” he said in a statement emailed to Minnesota media outlets by his office on Tuesday.

“Without significant bipartisan support, impeachment proceedings will be a lengthy and divisive action with no resolution,” Peterson continued.

“I believe it will be a failed process that will end up even further dividing our country and weakening our ability to act together on issues like passing USMCA, containing foreign threats and growing our economy,” Peterson concluded.

Notably, Peterson’s statement on impeachment proceedings emailed to Minnesota press outlets is not included in the list of press releases found on his official House website.

But on Wednesday, and for a second time on Friday, Peterson, along with every Democrat member of the House of Representatives, cast a roll call vote on House Resolution 590 in favor of tabling a resolution that disapproved Speaker Pelosi’s announcement of the impeachment inquiry.

The resolution, introduced by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), stated “Resolved, That the House of Representatives disapproves of the actions of the Speaker of the House, Mrs. Pelosi of California, to initiate an impeachment inquiry against the duly elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”

Peterson joined the majority on Wednesday who voted by a margin of 232 to 193 to table the resolution, as Breitbart News reported:

Every single member of the Democrat conference in the House of Representatives who voted on Wednesday went on the record backing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s extraordinary move earlier this week to open an impeachment inquiry via press conference, effectively confirming it is the sense of all 231 of them who voted with Pelosi that they intend to support impeaching President Donald Trump.

“The battle lines are drawn,” a senior House GOP aide directly involved in the effort to expose Democrats on the floor with recorded votes told Breitbart News on Wednesday evening. “We now know where every member of the House is on impeachment. And we know it is purely partisan.”

While the procedures are slightly D.C. insider-sounding, this vote, forced by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, represents the first time the lower Chamber of Congress has officially gone on record with regard to the impeachment of Trump, and it forces vulnerable Democrats who were waffling on whether to publicly back removal of the president from office by force on the record in support of the radical leftist wing of the party. . .

Democrats fought back against McCarthy’s efforts, pushing what’s called a motion to table McCarthy’s privileged resolution. That is where the vote of record happened–a vote for the motion to table was a vote against the resolution, and vice versa. The motion to table succeeded along party lines, with 231 House Democrats voting for it and 193 House Republicans voting against it. Former Republican, now “Independent” Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, also voted with the Democrats. Five Republicans and three Democrats did not vote.

Again on Friday, Peterson joined his Democrat colleagues and cast a second roll call vote in favor of tabling the resolution disapproving of Speaker Pelosi’s announcement of the impeachment inquiry, as Breitbart News reported:

The vote fell down on party lines, with all 221 House Democrats who voted voting in favor of tabling the McCarthy resolution—in essence a vote against McCarthy’s resolution, or in favor of impeachment—and all 184 Republicans who voted voting with McCarthy. Former Republican, now “independent,” Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan voted with the Democrats.

The previous vote on Wednesday was also on party lines, with all 231 Democrats voting then siding with Pelosi, and all 193 Republicans voting for it then voting against impeachment.

“Without a full House vote on a resolution to begin a formal impeachment inquiry, we are left with little foundation for why this House would choose to take the first steps to impeach the sitting President of the United States duly elected and voted for in 2016,” McCarthy told Breitbart News exclusively.

 

A total of 31 Democrats in the House Representatives represent districts President Trump won in 2016. Twenty of those 31 have made statements to date fully supportive of the initiation of the impeachment inquiry, while 11, including Peterson, have not.
First elected to Congress in 1990, Peterson represents the 7th Congressional District in western Minnesota, which has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of Republican plus 12.

President Trump’s margin of victory over Hillary Clinton in the 7th Congressional District was a whopping 30 percent, 61 percent to 31 percent. Indeed, in none of the other 30 districts won by the president in 2016 currently represented by a Democrat was his margin greater than 16 percent.

In four of those districts, the president’s margin of victory was between 10 percent and 16 percent. In 18 of those districts the president’s margin was between five percent and 10 percent, and in eight of those districts it was less than five percent.

In 2016, and again in 2018, Peterson defeated the Republican nominee, David Hughes, by five points, 52 percent to 47 percent, as Ballotpedia reported.

A majority vote on the floor of the House of Representatives–218 out of 435–is required under the Constitution to impeach the president, thereby “empowering” the Senate to undertake a trial on the charges set forward in the House impeachment. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required to convict the president and remove him from office.

Democrats currently have a majority of 235 to 198 over Republicans in the House of Representatives, with one independent (Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party in June) and one vacancy (Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) resigned effective September 24. A special election to select his replacement has been scheduled for January 27.)

At present, 224 members of the House (223 Democrats and one independent) have publicly indicated their support for the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the president.

 

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