Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN-07) said he’s leaning against voting for the articles of impeachment that House Democrats officially introduced Tuesday morning.
“I’m certainly leaning that way. I just think it will be too divisive for the country—it doesn’t accomplish anything,” Peterson told reporters Monday evening after he was asked if he would oppose all articles of impeachment introduced against President Donald Trump.
Rep. Collin Peterson, who was one of two Ds to vote against formalizing the impeachment procedures, told me this when asked if he’d vote against all articles: “I’m certainly leaning that way….I just think it will be too divisive for the country – it doesn’t accomplish anything”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 10, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) and the chairmen of the impeachment inquiry committees unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump during a Tuesday morning press conference—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Peterson and Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ-02) were the only two Democrats in the House to vote against formalizing the impeachment procedures and both represent districts carried by Trump in 2016. In fact, President Trump won Peterson’s rural district by 30.8 percentage points.
Peterson has represented the district since 1991, meaning he was around for the impeachment inquiry against former President Bill Clinton. Oddly, he voted in favor of opening the inquiry against Clinton, but ultimately voted against impeaching.
A small group of similarly vulnerable House Democrats floated the idea of censuring President Trump as a safer alternative to pursuing impeachment during a Monday meeting, Politico reported.
Republican leadership considers Peterson’s district one of the GOP’s best chances of picking up a House seat in the 2020 elections. Two Republicans have lined up to challenge Peterson in 2020, including former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach and Dave Hughes, who lost to Peterson in 2018 by five percentage points.
Peterson has yet to officially announce if he will seek a 16th term in Congress.
The American Action Network, a political action committee connected to House Republican leadership, launched a $500,000 ad campaign against Peterson in November that ties him to the impeachment inquiry. Even though he voted against formalizing the inquiry, the Republican message is that Peterson has failed to stand up to the more radical members of his party.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Articles of Impeachment Announcement” by CSPAN.