On the matter of the Democrat-controlled House impeaching President Donald Trump, it was always a matter of “when” and not “if” — and the only real question was how many votes in favor of a partisan impeachment House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would be able to corral in the lead-up to an election year.
It now appears that Pelosi will have at least one fewer vote than she would have liked. Rep. Collin Peterson (MN), one of two Democrats to vote against the initial authorization of the impeachment inquiry, has made it known that he will be a “no” vote whenever articles of impeachment come to the House floor, barring the unlikely unveiling of additional information, according to Breitbart.
“Maybe something will change. I doubt it.”
The announcement from Peterson, which came during an event for dairy farmers on Saturday and was first reported by The Globe, was not particularly surprising given the congressman’s previously stated opposition to the impeachment effort.
But it’s important to note that Peterson he wasn’t entirely alone in his stance: he reportedly predicted at least another four or five Democrats would join him in voting against impeachment in the upcoming week.
In terms of his own vote on the impending articles of impeachment, the Democrat said that “unless they come up with something between now and Wednesday,” he will remain a “no” vote. He added: “Maybe something will change. I doubt it.”
“I just don’t agree with this.”
The congressman pointed out that the so-called “whistleblower” complaint about President Trump’s alleged quid pro quo with Ukraine that launched the impeachment inquiry was based entirely on “secondhand” information, and the president “has not committed a crime,” at least not from anything that he’s seen.
Furthermore, Peterson noted that a majority of his constituents are opposed to the U.S. providing foreign aid to any countries, and thus were not particularly concerned by the reports that Trump had temporarily withheld such aid to Ukraine.
But his “biggest problem” with the impeachment process was the obvious inevitability of the whole thing. Peterson said that many of his colleagues have long stated their intent to impeach Trump, “and now they’ve spent a year trying to figure out how they can make a case for it. That’s backward. I just don’t agree with this,” he said.
He also predicted (like everyone else) that the House would eventually impeach the president and the Republican-controlled Senate would acquit him.
“This is dividing the country for no good reason because he’s not going to be thrown out of office. Why are we doing this?” he said. “If people don’t like Trump, they can vote against him.”
Two down, 15 to go
Rep. Peterson is the second Democrat to go on record in opposition to Trump’s impeachment, the first being Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ), who also voted against the initial authorization and has recently suggested that he is prepared to the Republican Party due to the partisan impeachment nonsense.
Pelosi can only afford to lose about 17 votes from her caucus and still be able to pass her impeachment articles. And while she still appears to enjoy a comfortable enough margin of error in that regard, it is shrinking by the day.