Several House Democrats are still undecided on impeaching President Donald Trump even as a large number say they’re ready to vote to impeach the Republican president.
Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.) is among the undecided. He said he’d been keeping quiet because he considers himself a juror.
Lamb has been getting updates from staff on the impeachment hearings and trying to read articles and watch portions of the witness testimony. He said he’s been affording Trump the presumption of innocence.
Juries “are told to pay attention and follow along but not to talk to each other or make any decisions until all the evidence is in,” Lamb said. “Because sometimes you don’t know the meaning of a particular piece of evidence until you hear from someone else later in the proceeding.”
When the impeachment hearings end, Lamb said he’d “drill into the details and make sure any suggested articles [of impeachment] actually matched up with the evidence.”
Lamb voted for the impeachment process resolution on Oct. 31. No Republican voted for the resolution and two Democrats joined the GOP in the vote, decrying the inquiry.
Lamb, 35, is in Congress for the first time after winning by portraying himself as a moderate and emphasizing his history as a Marine and former federal prosecutor.
Republicans have attacked Lamb regarding Democrats’ focus on impeachment, noting the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal still hasn’t been brought to a vote in the Democratic-controlled House over a year since its approval, among other issues perceived as held up by the inquiry.
Sean Parnell, a combat veteran who recently announced a challenge to Lamb, attacked the incumbent over the Post-Gazette interview, which said Lamb “sees himself as tight-lipped juror.”
“A tight-lipped juror? @ConorLambPA this is weakness, not leadership. This isn’t a trial. It’s nothing more than a raw political power play meant to overturn an election,” Parnell said in a statement.
“Stop the perpetual fence-sitting, & tell The People where you stand for once. Even your own base wants to know.”
Other Democrats have also expressed displeasure with the focus on impeaching Trump. At a recent town hall, Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) tried denying she voted for the impeachment process resolution despite doing so, and said that she “didn’t run for this seat to impeach the president.”
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), one of two Democrats to vote against the resolution, said last week that some of his colleagues are fed up with the impeachment inquiry, noting the perception among Trump voters is the inquiry is an attempt to overturn the 2016 election results.
“I always have a codicil if there’s something new, something we haven’t heard, something that really rises to the level of treason or a high crime—that would be different. But we don’t see that. We see little different variations, hearsay, discussions that somebody heard something that somebody else said,” Van Drew said.
“Impeachment, as you know, our founding fathers had vigorous debates over whether they would even allow impeachment in the Constitution. You don’t disenfranchise voters, millions upon millions of voters. Voters choose their leaders in America.”
Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), the other Democrat who voted against the resolution, said that the impeachment process is “hopelessly partisan” and that without support from Republicans in the Senate, continuing the impeachment “is a mistake.”