Silent Dem Reveals He Will Support the Effort to Impeach Trump

December 12, 2019 Updated: December 12, 2019
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Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.) said on Thursday that he intends to vote in support of impeaching President Donald Trump after a period of keeping quiet about his view.

Lamb’s decision comes after House Democrats on Tuesday introduced two articles of impeachment alleging that Trump had abused his power in dealing with Ukraine and obstructed Congress.

“After reviewing all of the evidence and witness testimony in this investigation, I believe that President Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress, and I will vote for both articles of impeachment,” Lamb said in a prepared statement released Thursday.

“The facts are clear—the President withheld weapons from the Ukrainians, even though Congress agreed that the weapons were needed to fight the Russians,” the 35-year-old congressman added. “Instead of using his office to oppose Russian aggression, the President used it to oppose his political opponent. This served his personal interests, but not our national security interests.

“The President has admitted these facts and refuses to acknowledge that he did anything wrong,” Lamb claimed. “I did not come to Congress to impeach the President. But I took an oath to protect our country and defend the Constitution. What the President did was wrong. It made our country less safe. That is why I will vote for impeachment.”

He added that the Democrat-led effort to impeach the president for his foreign policies in Ukraine was not preventing the House from “getting good, bipartisan work done.”

“We reached an agreement with the administration on an important trade deal that will protect American workers. Today we will vote on a bill to cut drug prices and add vision, dental, and hearing benefits to Medicare,” the freshman said. “I will keep working with both parties in the House to get things done for people in our District.”

Lamb has been serving in Congress since January after he won a seat portraying himself as a moderate, while touting his history as a Marine and former federal prosecutor.

His decision to support the impeachment effort makes him the seventh Democrat member of Congress from Pennsylvania to do so. Meanwhile, another freshman Rep. Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional district and fourth-term Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district declined to disclose how they will vote. Trump won Cartwright’s district in 2016, although Democrat Hillary Clinton won Houlahan’s district.

All nine Republican House members from Pennsylvania have said they will vote against the impeachment articles. That includes Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of suburban Philadelphia, who on occasion breaks party ranks to vote with Democrats. Clinton narrowly won Fitzpatrick’s district in 2016.

Sean Parnell, a combat veteran and a Republican candidate who recently announced a challenge to Lamb, responded to Lamb’s decision late Thursday, writing that he had “sold out” the majority of his constituents in western Pennsylvania.

“Hey @ConorLambPA, today you sold out the vast majority of people in Western Pennsylvania by supporting this sham,” Parnell wrote. “You put your party, BEFORE the will of the people you promised to represent. The people of Western Pennsylvania deserve better.”

Lamb’s district includes Beaver County and the suburban areas of Allegheny County, areas that Trump narrowly won in 2016. Allegheny County Republican Chairman Sam DeMarco issued a statement Thursday accusing Lamb of doing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bidding.

“We warned voters last year that Conor Lamb would do what [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi tells him. So absolutely nobody was surprised that, after weeks of careful evasions, he finally admitted that he’ll vote to impeach President Trump,” DeMarco said in the statement.

“As a lawyer, Conor should realize the dangers of impeaching a president because we disagree with his approach to foreign policy is a dangerous precedent to set. They’ve even added a charge because President Trump wouldn’t take part in the hyper-partisan circus by the House,” DeMarco added. “It’s time for Conor to admit it: he’s a run-of-the-mill Pelosi Democrat like so many others. And it’s time to call him out on this masquerade.”

In late November, Lamb had signaled that he was undecided on how he would vote with regard to the Democrats’ efforts to impeach the president, saying at the time that he’d been keeping quiet because he considers himself a juror.

This “is how real juries are instructed to behave,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at the time about his stance on the impeachment inquiry, adding that he’d 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 at the time. “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 was among Democrats who voted on Oct. 31 for the impeachment process resolution, which outlined how the impeachment inquiry against Trump would move forward. No Republican voted for the resolution and two Democrats—Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)—joined Republicans in the vote, decrying the inquiry.

Republicans have criticized the entire impeachment process, and also have accused Democrats of trying to use the resolution to put a mask on a sham probe.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, in late October called the resolution “a bogus attempt to legitimize an ‘impeachment’ effort that doesn’t offer real fairness, due process, or transparency.”

The Associated Press and Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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