Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) drew backlash at a contentious town hall meeting in Rochester, Michigan, when she tried to explain why she is voting for articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Slotkin, who represents a district Trump won in 2016, had remained undecided until the morning of Dec. 16, when she penned an opinion piece for the Detroit Free Press.
As she tried to offer an argument to her constituents in the town hall meeting, a chorus of boos and jeers erupted.
“The thing that [was] different for me is this very, very basic idea that the president of the United States would reach out to a foreign power … for personal political gain,” she said at around the 27-minute mark in a video of the event, echoing claims made by Democratic House leaders. In the middle of the sentence, audience members loudly booed and tried to shout her down.
Some audience members tried to support her stance on impeachment—clapping and cheering later on in the speech as Slotkin explained herself. “I will stick to that regardless of what it does to me politically,” she told the town hall amid cheering and booing.
However, as Slotkin continued to speak about impeachment, the crowd of naysayers persisted.
On Facebook, some people wrote that they support her, but a number of people disagreed and indicated they would seek to vote her out of office.
Slotkin’s position on impeachment could be the beginning of the end of her congressional career. She narrowly defeated incumbent Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.) by 3.8 percentage points in 2016, while Trump carried her district by 7 percentage points in 2016, according to CNN.
A local woman posted a video to Twitter on Dec. 16 that shows what appears to be Trump supporters at her town hall meeting. “Slotkin put politics above her constituents—overriding the will of the American people for her own political gain. And Michiganders have had enough,” she wrote.
A Getty photo showed the Trump supporters holding signs with anti-Slotkin and anti-impeachment slogans such as “Impeach Slotkin,” and “Rep. Slotkin, use your integrity to vote No on impeachment.”
In the Free Press article, Slotkin wrote, “To be clear, presidents from both parties have leveraged the powerful role of the United States to get foreign countries to do what’s in our interest.”
She claimed that the difference is that “President Trump used the power of the presidency for his own benefit, to give himself some advantage in the very election that would determine whether he remained in office.”
House Democrats allege that Trump abused his power by withholding foreign aid to Ukraine to secure investigations against a potential 2020 rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings—which has long accused of corruption—while his father was in office.
Trump’s opponents focused the claims on a July 25 phone call between the president and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggesting Trump was waging a quid pro quo campaign. However, Zelensky, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko, and top Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak have denied there was any pressure or quid pro quo involved in their dealings with the White House. Trump also released a transcript of the call, which doesn’t show evidence of a quid pro quo.
The 31 members of Congress “will have to answer to their constituents come 2020,” Trump wrote on Twitter over the weekend, quoting a campaign aide. “If you look at the facts, there’s no crime, there’s no witness, there’s no evidence, there’s no victim, President Zelensky said there was absolutely no pressure. I don’t know of any crime that was committed where the actual victim wasn’t aware of it….and, they got the call, they got the meeting, and they got the money.”