/Democratic representative in Trump district will split vote on impeachment articles

Democratic representative in Trump district will split vote on impeachment articles

Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, one of the few remaining members of the House of Representatives who was yet to announce a public position on impeachment articles, announced Tuesday he would split his vote on the articles. 

In a statement to be entered into the congressional record, Golden said he would vote for one article of impeachment – abuse of power – and against the other – obstruction of Congress. 

House Democrats accused President Donald Trump of abusing his power by pressuring the government of Ukraine to open politically motivated investigations by withholding nearly $400 million of security assistance and an Oval Office meeting. 

They also allege Trump and his administration obstructed Congress’ investigation into the pressuring of Ukraine, resulting in the second article of impeachment.

Golden’s statement supports his decision to vote for the first article, saying Trump’s “action crossed a clear red line, and in my view, there is no doubt this is an impeachable act.” 

More:Is Rep. Jeff Van Drew a Democrat or Republican? He won’t say on eve of impeachment vote

More:Trump calls Democrats ‘deranged,’ ‘spiteful’ in angry letter to Pelosi over impeachment

However, Golden believed Trump had not met the bar of “high crimes and misdemeanors” to merit impeachment for the alleged obstruction of Congress. 

“While the president’s resistance toward our investigative efforts has been frustrating, it has not yet, in my view, reached the threshold of ‘high crime or misdemeanor’ that the Constitution demands,” Golden writes.  

Golden is the first member of Congress to announce a planned split vote on the articles of impeachment, and will perhaps be the only member to split his votes at Wednesday’s full House of Representatives vote on the articles.

Trump won Golden’s sprawling northern Maine district in the 2016 presidential election by about ten percentage points, but Golden narrowly flipped the district in the 2018 election.  

Golden’s decision leaves only a few members of Congress who have not yet announced a public position on the articles of impeachment. 

Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who previously said he would vote against the articles of impeachment, declined to say whether he was a Democrat or Republican when asked about his party affiliation by reporters on Tuesday. 

The majority of his staff resigned over the weekend and Monday following reports he would soon switch parties and run as a Republican over impeachment.