There are now just eight House Democrats who don’t yet support President Donald Trump’s impeachment or an impeachment inquiry after Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) last week changed his mind and said he now favors an investigation into the whistleblower complaint.
Speaking at a town hall on Oct. 4, the first-term Democrat made clear he was no longer on the fence about his decision.
“The president’s refusal to further cooperate with congressional oversight, without an impeachment inquiry, is regrettable,” McAdams said, reported The Salt Lake Tribune.
He stated that in order to determine the facts, he believes a formal probe should be carried out.
“We find ourselves today at the point that an [impeachment] inquiry is necessary to get all of the facts on the table.”
However, he made clear that while he now favors the congressional impeachment inquiry, he won’t comment on whether he believes Trump should be impeached until the process is carried out.
“I am not on the fence,” McAdams said. “It is my duty to allow this process to play out without partisanship and with impartiality.”
His updated comments came after he previously refused to sway on the matter. The Utah Democrat previously said he wanted “all the facts” before deciding on whether to support impeachment proceedings against Trump.
In a statement on Sept. 25, McAdams said that the summary of Trump’s July 25 phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart suggests the president “was improperly using his influence with a foreign power to damage a political opponent.”
But the congressman said he needed to see all the facts before deciding how to move forward.
The impeachment inquiry was formally launched by the House Democrats late last month after media reports about alleged improper conduct during Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The call prompted an alleged whistleblower to file a complaint, alleging that the president was leveraging his office to obtain “dirt” on a political opponent—2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
A day after Pelosi launched the impeachment inquiry, the White House released a transcript of the Trump-Zelensky July 25 phone call. The transcript revealed that Trump had asked Zelensky to look into a technology firm that was hired by the Democratic National Committee, CrowdStrike, and examine Biden’s dealings with Ukraine when he was vice president. In 2018, Biden bragged that he pressured then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2016 to remove a prosecutor in charge of a probe of the private Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, where Biden’s son sat on the board.
Trump has repeatedly maintained that his phone call with the Ukrainian president was “perfect.” On Oct. 3, Trump reiterated this in a series of posts on Twitter.
“There wasn’t ANYTHING said wrong in my conversation with the Ukrainian President. This is a Democrat Scam!” he wrote.
Later that night, Trump wrote, “As the President of the United States, I have an absolute right, perhaps even a duty, to investigate, or have investigated, CORRUPTION, and that would include asking, or suggesting, other Countries to help us out!”
McAdams has now joined 227 Democrats in favoring an impeachment or impeachment inquiry into Trump. He narrowly unseated Republican incumbent Mia Love last year in the swing district to become the only Democrat in Utah’s congressional delegation.
On Sept. 27 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) also changed her mind and said she now backs the impeachment inquiry.
Gabbard, a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, said in a statement she initially wanted to steer clear of the matter because she believed it would “further divide our already badly divided country,” but later said she was swayed after “carefully” looking at the transcript between “Ukraine’s president, the whistleblower complaint, the Inspector General memo, and President Trump’s comments about the issue.”
Similarly, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said on Oct. 1 she changed her stance under what she called an “enormous amount of pressure.”
The Associated Press and Janita Kan contributed to this report.