Michigan Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence is a prominent supporter of Kamala Harris, and she has previously supported the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. But Lawrence abruptly announced Sunday that she no longer saw any “value” in the process and called for her fellow Democrats to throw their support behind a symbolic censure resolution.
Lawrence’s turnaround came as polls have shown that independents are backing off the idea of impeaching and removing Trump from office, including in critical battleground states like Wisconsin. This came even as House Democrats aggressively presented their poll-tested “bribery” case against the president over the past two weeks.
“We are so close to an election,” Lawrence said Sunday on a Michigan radio program, noting that Trump stands little chance of being convicted by the GOP-controlled Senate. “I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don’t see the value of taking him out of office. But I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable. It’s in violation of the oath of office of a president of the United States, and we have to be clear that you cannot use your power of the presidency to withhold funds to get a foreign country to investigate an American citizen for your own personal gain. There’s no way around that.”
Lawrence continued: “I want him censured. I want it on the record that the House of Representatives did their job and they told this president and any president coming behind him that this is unacceptable behavior and, under our Constitution, we will not allow it. … I am a Democrat, but I am an independent United States of America citizen.”
Lawrence holds a Democratic district that includes eastern Detroit, and her reticence to move forward with impeachment suggested that moderate Democrats in swing districts may also be getting cold feet now that all scheduled hearings in the probe wrapped up last week.
Recent surveys reveal that even Democratic voters are losing interest in impeachment. Meanwhile, 50 percent of independents questioned in an NPR/PBS/Marist poll conducted Nov. 11-15 did not support impeaching and removing Trump from office.