Democratic Congressman With Most Pro-Trump District Leaning No on Impeachment, Doesn't Plan to Quit Party

Democratic Congressman Colin C. Peterson is still leaning towards "no" on the House impeachment vote set for Wednesday, although he remains ultimately undecided and does not plan to quit the party over the issue.

Peterson represents Minnesota's 7th district which, according to The Associated Press, voted for President Donald Trump in 2016 by a margin of 30.8 percentage points.

This is the largest pro-Trump margin of any district currently represented by a Democrat.

"Rep. Peterson is undecided but leaning towards a 'no' vote on impeachment. He will issue a statement after he votes," Sue Dieter, the congressman's press secretary, told Newsweek.

Impeachment is heaping political pressure on House Democrats representing districts that are favorable to Trump.

Congressman Jeff Van Drew, a freshman Democrat from New Jersey whose 2nd district backed Trump by a margin of 4.6 percentage points in 2016, is set to quit the party and join the Republicans over his opposition to impeachment.

But Dieter told Newsweek that Peterson will not follow Van Drew out of the door: "He is a Democrat and has no plans to change that."

It is likely that Democrats have a majority to pass the two articles of impeachment against Trump in the House vote.

Trackers of the potential votes, including estimates by Associated Press and NBC News, suggest that most Democrats in competitive districts are backing impeachment.

Impeachment "was supposed to be bipartisan, it was supposed to be incontrovertible, it was supposed to be something that was always on the rarest of circumstances," Van Drew said last week, The Washington Post reported. "Well, it's not bipartisan."

Trump is facing impeachment for allegedly abusing his power and trying to obstruct Congress.

The House impeachment inquiry accuses Trump of trying to solicit a foreign government's interference in the 2020 election to benefit his re-election campaign.

Specifically, Trump is accused of coercively conditioning security aid and a White House visit for Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskiy on him opening unfounded investigations that would damage former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 candidate, and the Democratic Party.

President Trump denies any wrongdoing and says he wanted nothing from Ukraine. Trump also claimed to be chasing down legitimate concerns about corruption.

If the Democrat-controlled House votes to impeach Trump he will head to the Senate, where there is a Republican majority, for a trial.

To convict Trump the Senate must vote by a two-thirds majority in favor of doing so, else he will be acquitted.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News host Sean Hannity last week that he is coordinating with Trump's lawyers.

"There won't be any difference between us on how to do this...The case is so darn weak coming over from the House," McConnell said.

"We all know how that's gonna end. There's no chance the president's going to be removed from office."

Donald Trump impeachment House vote
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting at the White House on December 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump faces impeachment by the House in a vote on December 18. Drew Angerer/Getty Images