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US Rep. Slotkin says she will vote "yes" on both articles of impeachment against President Trump

Update, Monday December 16 at 2:00 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI 8) told a large crowd of constituents at Oakland University in Rochester that she will vote to impeach the President Donald Trump on the two articles of impeachment drawn up by the U.S. House: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Slotkin explained her reasoning over the jeers and chants of a small group of pro-Trump protesters, who stood in the back of the hall with signs saying "Impeach Slotkin."

"I made this decision out of principle, and  out of a duty to protect the Constitution," Slotkin said as many of those in the audience rose and applauded. "I feel that in my bones, and I will stick to that regardless of what it does to me politically, because this is bigger than politics." 

Listen above to hear Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin's interview on Stateside about her decision to vote in favor of impeaching President Trump.

Trump supporters prior to the town hall said they oppose impeachment because they see it as a Democratic-led effort to remove the president for political reasons. Many said they did not believe the president withheld aid from Ukraine in order to pressure its leaders to begin an investigation into a political rival, Joe Biden. That's even though the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and the president's Acting White House Chief of Staff, Mike Mulvaney, have admitted it was true, and impeachment witnesses confirmed the president's actions. 

One supporter said he did not believe President Trump also asked China to intervene in the election and investigate Biden, even though that occured during a televised press conference.

Slotkin told Stateside host Cynthia Canty that she knows her vote on impeachment could impact her ability to hold her seat in next November’s election. But she said reelection was not her main concern when deciding how to vote.

“Obviously, I would like to continue to be the representative for the 8th District. That is my honor and it is my hope for 2020. But I was never planning on being an elected official, this was not my path, and I’m not gonna compromise my integrity just to win an election.”

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the resolution to impeach Trump on Wednesday. If the House approves the resolution, it would then go to the Senate for a trial. Republican Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell has said there is no chance that President Trump will be removed. Doing so would require a two-thirds majority in the Republican-controlled Senate. Still, Slotkin said, it was important for the House to go through the process of impeachment, regardless of what happens in the Senate.

“I know that it’s frustrated a lot of people to have these hearings, but there just had to be a mark on the ground when the president reached out to foreigners for his own personal political gain," she said. "We just can’t let that go unanswered.”

Original post, Monday December 16 at 9:00 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI 8) will vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

Slotkin announced her decision in a Detroit Free Press op-ed. The freshman congresswoman had previously written in September calling for an investigation into the president's actions in Ukraine.

After three weeks of impeachment hearings, the House of Representatives last week brought forward  two articles of impeachment against the president: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Slotkin says she did not come to the decision to vote in favor of impeachment lightly, writing: "I have done what I was trained to do as a CIA officer who worked for both Republicans and Democrats: I took a step back, looked at the full body of available information, and tried to make an objective decision on my vote."

Her op-ed outlines the reasoning behind her decision in depth. On the abuse of power charge, she writes, "I believe that the president illegally solicited the help of foreigners to influence the American political process.... Our democracy is in danger if this behavior becomes the new normal."

And regarding the obstruction of Congress charge, "While the president may not have liked the inquiry, he broke with 100 years of tradition by ignoring the subpoenas, and in doing so, obstructed Congress’ authorities."

Not all of the Michigan Congressional delegation have announced their vote, but Republicans expressed criticism over the inquiry last month.

Slotkin represents a swing district, and says she has been told voting yes on impeachment will end her short political career.

"That may be.... There are some decisions in life that have to be made based on what you know in your bones is right. And this is one of those times."

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Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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