With impeachment hearings completed and no smoking gun to be found, some Democrats are starting to shy away from the impeachment idea.
Speaking Sunday on a Michigan radio program, Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) called on fellow lawmakers to abandon the impeachment process:
“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,” said Lawrence, who initially supported impeachment.
“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.” A few days later, in a letter to the Metro Times, Lawrence clarified she still supports impeachment but considers censure a more feasible option given the expected response from the GOP-controlled Senate.
House Democrats need 217 votes to move forward with impeachment. There are 233 Democrats in the chamber, meaning the Party could lose no more than 16 votes.
And a successful impeachment vote would trigger a Senate hearing that could end up boosting support for Trump’s 2020 campaign.
“Democrats still don’t have the strong case they’re seeking to justify removing President Donald Trump from office,” wrote The Detroit News in an editorial last week. “Censure amounts to a public shaming…but it also recognizes the offense does not merit removal from office. That, too, seems appropriate, given the inconclusive testimony so far.”
This opinion seems to reflect a growing sentiment among voters that impeachment is a waste of time – especially so close to the next election.
Recent polls show a 3% drop in support for impeachment among Independent voters.
Of course, none of this has stopped Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) – who has been trying to remove Trump from office since day one – from pushing forward with impeachment.
Schiff, who described the evidence against Trump as “overwhelming, unchallenged, and damning” on Monday said the House would have its report on the impeachment hearings to the Judiciary Committee as soon as Congress returns from its Thanksgiving break.
Update: Congressman Lawrence has recanted her statement. One can only imagine the angry, threatening calls she must have received from Democratic leadership.
This was necessary for the Democrats to prevent a larger scale defection by the Democrat caucus, everyone knows the impeachment proceedings are a farce.