Swing-State Democrats Ignore Republican Pressure Campaign, Say They Will Vote for Trump's Impeachment

A handful of representatives officially joined an increasing number of swing-state Democrats to come out in support of impeaching President Donald Trump despite a Republican pressure campaign aimed to spook lawmakers considered vulnerable for re-election in 2020.

Representatives Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Jason Crow of Colorado, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Ben McAdams of Utah, Andy Kim of New Jersey and Abigal Spanberger of Virginia are the latest Democrats to announce that they will vote "yes" on impeachment.

Slotkin explained her decision to back impeachment in an op-ed for the Detroit Free Press on Monday, writing that "I believe that the President illegally solicited the help of foreigners to influence the American political process.

But she later acknowledged in a constituent meeting that backing impeachment is a risk considering she represents a swing district but that she hopes that "even if people don't agree with my decision they see that I based my decision on my personal integrity."

Slotkin was elected 2018 during the "blue wave" that flipped 40 seats in the House of Representatives, but her district in Michigan went to Trump by 7 percentage points in the 2016 election.

The same goes for Crow, who represents a historically Republican district. Before Crow was elected in 2018, the 6th Congressional District in Colorado had never elected a Democrat. Neither lawmaker immediately responded to Newsweek's request for comment.

McAdams and Cunningham are also considered to be some of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in 2020. Trump won McAdams' district in Utah by 7 points in 2016 and McAdams only won in 2018 by roughly 700 votes. Cunningham represents a South Carolina district that Trump won by 13 points.

Other Democrats who are considered vulnerable in their re-election bids next year but have still decided to back impeachment include Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Lucy McBath of Georgia, Susie Lee of Nevada, Tom O'Halleran of Arizona, Max Rose of New York and Greg Stanton of Arizona. These lawmakers all jumped on the impeachment bandwagon last week following the House's damning televised hearings on the issue.

The one Democrat who has publicly said that he will vote against impeachment is Representative Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey. He told aides over the weekend that he is even planning to switch parties and join the Republicans over the issue.

Van Drew said he also expects Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota to join him in voting "no" on the impeachment articles. Peterson has not come out with an official position on the matter but said on Saturday that he's likely to vote "no." The two lawmakers were the only Democrats to oppose a resolution establishing procedures for the inquiry in late October.

The uptick in support for impeachment comes even as the president's allies mount a pressure campaign against them. Pro-Trump groups have devoted more than $10 million in ads against Democrats over impeachment proceedings.

Over the weekend, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the office phone numbers and Twitter handles of 31 Democrats who represent swing districts. In the post, he encouraged his followers to call and tweet at them "non-stop."

Enough! These Democrats in Trump districts said they were with @realDonaldTrump. They lied! - Now now its time to hear from OUR MOVEMENT. Here’s a complete thread of their handles & phone #s. Call non-stop, tweet at them, tell them this will NOT STAND & you’ll remember in Nov! RT

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 14, 2019

House Democrats allege that Trump put his personal interest over the country's by trying to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnky to announce politically damaging investigations against Joe Biden and other rivals.

The two charges against the president brought forward by the House Judiciary Committee last week are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The full House of Representatives will hold a vote this week to move the impeachment issue to the Senate. The impeachment articles are expected to pass in the House, but it remains unclear exactly how many Democrats will vote against impeachment

Trump called the House Judiciary Committee's vote to move forward with impeachment articles "horrible."

"It's a scam. It's something that shouldn't be allowed," Trump said in the Oval Office last week. "And it's a very bad thing for our country, and you're trivializing impeachment. And I tell you what, someday there will be a Democrat president, and there will be a Republican House."

Update (12/16/2019, 9:00 p.m. ET): This story has been updated to include additional vulnerable Democrats who have said they will vote "yes" on impeaching Trump.

u.s. capitol house impeachment vote
An overcast sky hangs above the U.S. Capitol on December 16, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Washington is preparing for the House of Representatives to hold the historic vote on the Articles of Impeachment of President Donald Trump later this week. If the vote passes in the House, President Trump will become only the third sitting president to be impeached in the 243 year history of the United States. Samuel Corum/Getty