A freshman Democratic congresswoman from a swing district in Michigan has faced the ire of her constituents at home after she announced her decision to vote yes on both articles of impeachment against President Trump.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), a former CIA officer, explained her position Monday in an op-ed for the Detroit Free Press and later Monday during a raucus town hall at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.
Slotkin is among a group of Democrats dubbed by Republicans as the “Dirty 30”—Democrats from districts that voted for Trump in 2016, went on to elect a Democrat in 2018. Her district went for Trump by 7 percentage points in 2016.
“I’m going to walk you through my logic,” Slotkin told the jeering audience. “I know—it’s clear—that we don’t all agree.” One sign in the audience read, “Impeach Slotkin. Keep Trump.” Another constituent held a sign that read, “Democrats, the party of hate and lies.” Yet another person held a hand-written sign that said, “Rep. Slotkin, Use your Integrity, Vote No on Impeachment.”
The catcalls grew louder as the congresswoman continued: “I knew right from the very beginning that this was going to be a controversial decision,” she said.
She explained to her constituents that unlike some of her colleagues, who came out for impeachment “the moment they were sworn in,” she didn’t support the Democrats’ initial pushes to impeach the president.
“I didn’t because I thought we needed to let the election of 2020 decide what was going to happen to our country,” Slotkin explained to a smattering of applause.
The congresswoman insisted that it was not until she had studied the Ukraine issue thoroughly that she could come out in favor impeachment.
Amid catcalls and jeers, she went on to describe the Ukraine controversy using the Democrats’ biased language.
“The president of the United States came out—and his lawyer—came out and said very specifically that they had reached out to a foreign power and asked him for information on a political rival,” Slotkin intoned, as the heckling intensified.
“Rudy Giuliani said it openly on television. The president responded accordingly when asked by a reporter,” she added.
Trump and Giuliani have been open about their desire for investigations into corruption in Ukraine —including corruption that involved former president Joe Biden and his son. Trump did not want the United States to dole out millions of dollars in aid to a country that had meddled in the 2016 election and was still corrupt. But the president did not ask Ukraine for “information” on Biden or for anyone to “dig up dirt,” to use the projecting Democrats’ ironic phrase.
They do not sound happy.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 16, 2019
Republicans have targeted Slotkin and other Democrats with millions of dollars of TV ads urging them to vote against impeachment.
“At least 31 House Democrats are hating their lives right now,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.
News broke over the weekend that one of the Dirty 30, New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew, is leaving the Democratic Party to join the Republican Party after meeting with President Donald Trump.
“Van Drew’s congressional and campaign staff were informed he was planning to switch parties on Saturday, according to Democratic sources,” Politico reported. “The question was now when, not if, Van Drew was joining the Republican Party, according to several Democrats with knowledge of the ongoing conversations.”
Six staff members said Sunday that they are resigning from Van Drew’s office, saying they respect Van Drew but “can no longer in good conscience continue our service.”