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Spanberger to vote in favor of both impeachment articles: ‘The President has abused his power’

Posted at 8:50 AM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 08:54:53-05

WASHINGTON — Newly-elected Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger announced she would vote in favor of the articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Spanberger, who was elected in 2018 to represent the 7th House District of Virginia, released the following statement on her decision.

“As a former federal agent and CIA officer, I have spent my professional career in search of facts and evidence—the facts and evidence necessary to uphold the rule of law and protect our national security. Today, I am driven by facts and evidence to protect the integrity of our democracy.

“This week, the House of Representatives will vote on two articles of impeachment. In advance of casting my vote, I have read the articles and studied the evidence—including the majority and minority reports, deposition transcripts, and public testimony.

“The facts are not in dispute; witnesses, including those called by both parties, affirm these facts. The President has abused his power by soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election and leveraging U.S. security assistance dollars paid for by taxpayers and appropriated by both parties in Congress to compel a close ally—at war and dependent on our aid—to malign his political rival. When these actions became known, the President endeavored to hide the truth, and he obstructed Congress’ constitutional duty to investigate by withholding documents, evidence, and fact witnesses.

“The President’s actions violate his oath of office, endanger our national security, and betray the public trust. Because of the oath I swore to support and defend the Constitution, I will be voting in favor of both articles of impeachment. This vote is about more than one man’s abuse of power; it is about the power of the presidency and whether we, as citizens, can expect that our elected officials, and most powerfully, our President, will fulfill their obligation to uphold the Constitution. The framers foresaw the risks to our republic that could come with a President willing to put self-interest before national interest, and they gave Congress the sole power of impeachment as a remedy.

“It is with a heavy heart, a solemn devotion to our Constitution, and a deep belief in our country that I believe we must pursue this remedy. The world, and our children, are watching as the foundation of the world’s longest-standing democracy is tested. Through this trying time, nothing is more important than fulfilling our obligation to defend the Constitution and protect our republic.”

“Rep. Abigail Spanberger touted the need for Congress to work across the aisle, but it’s clear from her support for impeaching President Trump that she is beholden to Nancy Pelosi and progressive Democrats, not Virginians,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves responded. “President Trump will continue to fight for the people of Virginia on the issues that matter, such as lowering drug prices and ratifying the historic United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, while Spanberger and House Democrats continue to waste their taxpayer dollars on this impeachment sham.”

House Democrats set to move one step closer to impeachment with Rules Committee vote

House Democrats will move one step closer to impeaching President Donald Trump on Tuesday when the intense partisan debate moves to the House rule-setting committee, which will guide the action ahead of Wednesday’s expected House floor vote.

But House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler will not be appearing at the House Rules Committee meeting, according to a committee aide, because Nadler had a family emergency and will be unable to attend. The aide said that Nadler would be back for floor debate on impeachment on Wednesday.

In his place, Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, will introduce the impeachment resolution for the committee, according to the aide.

The rules panel meets to take up the impeachment resolution at 11 a.m. ET Tuesday morning, in what will be a contentious debate in the panel’s confined hearing room where committee members will question the Judiciary Committee leaders about impeachment.

Raskin and Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the Judiciary Committee’s top Republican, will take questions from Rules Committee members, and both will likely be pressed by lawmakers in the other party about the impeachment process.

Democrats have introduced two articles of impeachment against the President, charging him with abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals while withholding a White House meeting and US security aid, and obstruction of Congress for directing his administration to flout subpoenas from the impeachment inquiry.

The Rules Committee, where Democrats have a 9-4 advantage, will set the parameters for the debate on impeachment on the floor, where the House is expected to vote on each article of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday.

Any House member can also come to the committee to speak on the impeachment resolution. As a result, it’s expected to be a lengthy hearing before the rule for debate is approved.

The House Judiciary Committee released a report early Monday morning explaining the two charges against Trump to help set up the floor debate. The report also included Republican dissenting views that argue the President should not be impeached.

There are still a handful moderate Democrats who are undecided on the issue, and Democrats expect a couple may vote with the President.

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew is planning to switch parties and become a Republican in the wake of the impeachment. And Rep. Colin Peterson, a veteran Minnesota blue dog Democrat, is likely to vote no.

But roughly a half-dozen Democrats in the 31 congressional districts that Trump won in 2016 announced they would vote to impeach the President on Monday, including Reps. Spanberger, Andy Kim of New Jersey, Ben McAdams of Utah, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan.