One defection from the impeachment process is one too many, apparently.
On a Sunday talk radio show, Representative Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) called for changing the goal of the House inquiries into President Trump from impeachment to censure. Lawrence won her district by a landslide and occupies a very safe seat, so her change of heart wasn’t about protecting herself in the next election, and she’s certainly no friend of Trump’s.
Instead, she wants voters to have their voices heard. Lawrence said:
“We are so close to an election. 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.”
Her point was well-reasoned and measured, which might have been a problem for the Democratic leadership.
Shortly after her comments were spread across the media, Lawrence issued a statement to the Metro Times “clarifying” her remarks, and essentially walking back what she’d said earlier:
“I was an early supporter for impeachment in 2017. The House Intelligence Committee followed a very thorough process in holding hearings these past two weeks. The information they revealed confirmed that this President has abused the power of his office, therefore I continue to support impeachment. However, I am very concerned about Senate Republicans and the fact that they would find this behavior by the President acceptable.”
It seems unlikely that Lawrence suddenly realized the Senate exists and will would most likely exonerate the president. The simpler explanation is that she got a phone call, and an offer from Democratic leaders that should couldn’t, or at least shouldn’t, refuse.
After all, if either party let one member have their own opinion, who knows how many might follow and begin representing their constituents instead of the vested interests in Washington?