House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) stunned de facto impeachment leader Adam Schiff (D-NY) by indicating that some House Democrats could reverse the trend and vote against impeachment when the time comes.
Clyburn told CNN on Friday that “we do expect to lose some, and that’s why I say it is a conscience vote.”
Furthermore, the South Carolina representative urged caution on the part of the more pushy pro-impeachment leaders, stating “I think it would be a bit unseemly for us to go out, whipping up a vote on something like this,” he continued. This is too serious. This is too much about preserving this great republic, and I think we ought to leave it up to each member to decide how he or she would like to vote.”
Clyburn referenced freshman Rep. Joe Cunningham’s (D-SC) statement released on Thursday that indicated a hesitancy to jump on the impeachment bandwagon due to the lack of evidence.
A spokesperson for Cunningham stated that although he’s concerned about the president’s alleged abuse of power, “he will continue to withhold judgment until the articles have been drafted and he’s had the time to thoroughly examine the articles and all supporting evidence.”
Other House Democrats that have indicated that they’re not exactly falling in line include Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN). Additionally, Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) said last week that she would rather censure the president than impeach but quickly walked back the statement after the media went after her.
No other House Dems have publically come out against impeachment, but many Democrats representing traditionally Republican or moderate Democrat districts are clearly feeling the pressure.
The Washington Examiner reported on Friday that several anonymous members of the House have expressed frustration with the impeachment process, and stated that “the people who will suffer significant political consequences are our moderate members.”
Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi have maintained a facade of Democrat unity through most of the impeachment process, but the cracks are beginning to show. Many Dems are afraid to come out and say it in public, but we could see many more vote against impeachment than are letting on right now.