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"You help him": Vulnerable Democrats have been grilling for impeachment

  Katie Porter "title =" Katie Porter

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) Is in a vulnerable position after relocating to a Republican office in Orange County, and acknowledges that there is a political risk of impeachment. | Mario Tama / Getty Images

Elections 2020

In city halls, lawmakers face voters – not activist organizations – who have deep knowledge of Muller's probe.

IRVINE, California – Democrats seeking to avoid dismissals in the summer from Washington become hostage at sometimes hostile events at City Hall faced with a difficult reality.

Voters across the country – from California to Pennsylvania to Massachusetts – have deplored House Democrats about the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump in a series of events this month, whether they support or reject the drastic measure.

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The question that Katie Porter received here in a town hall was, for example, the place where she accused Trump.

The vulnerable Californian Democrat told the crowd this to rousing applause she advocated impeachment – though some feared she would play into the president's hands. Porter, who had joined a republican seat in a more liberal Orange County, also recognized the political dangers of her impeachment stance.

"People said, 'Well, that could be risky, you could not be re-elected. "Porter said. "I said, 'I'm here to do the right thing. "

Their answer highlights the dilemma of the House democrats – in particular so-called front-in-members, of which the national party believes that they are Many progressive voters want democratic leaders to move forward immediately with impeachment, the politics of which are damned because ethics demands it. others are hammering out their representatives over the possibility that impeachment would improve Trump's chances of re-election because he would seek justification after being acquitted by the GOP-controlled Senate.

"When the only times I got out of bed were days, I thought I was voting. If you passed the Senate, I would have bedsores," joked Porter.

Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives because they switched dozens of Republican-occupied seats, including all four in Orange County, to candidates who billed themselves as moderates. But many of these Democrats have defended themselves because of impeachment and the associated potentially dangerous political consequences.

It is a question that newcomer Rep. Harley Rouda has also dealt with. Rouda, another Orange Democrat, tops the Republican target list as they want to retake the majority in 2020. But he also supports an impeachment investigation, although many Democrats fear that they could take such a position district is a political death knell.

"None of the calculations included" What does that mean for me personally from a political point of view? "Rouda said in an interview in Laguna Beach where he lives." Does this help or harm me if I am re-elected? " Never once came to my mind. "

Rep. Stephen Lynch, who opposes the impeachment for fear that it might help Trump, faced a hostile crowd of some 200 supporters, activists, and voters

Lynch, in office The House has been facing a different situation for almost two decades than any of its Swinging District compatriots.The Massachusetts Democrat is not afraid of the Republican He has progressive primary challengers as his already suburban blue district of Boston is pulled to the left.

"You're giving Donald Trump another four years to help him, you'll help him live another four years." Lynch admitted Answering his constituents he raised his voice as the troubled crowd shouted at him, "I want Donald Trump to leave office sst and give him another four years. I know that. I know that in my heart.

Many of the voters who voted in favor of impeachment in town halls did not appear to be part of organized efforts, even though progressive groups such as Impeach Now and Indivisible have stepped up their campaign for impeachment in August. There were few, if any, matching T-shirts, poster signs or coordinated chants.

Instead, people lined up at the microphones, which were out to discuss details of Trump's actions, as discussed in the report of former Special Adviser Robert Mueller and in the House's report litigation – a kind of detailed knowledge and energy that a Pro-Impeachment sentiment is more ingrained than just an antagonistic anti-Trump movement and could be impossible for Democrats to ignore in the long run.

Several people were so well-versed in the work of the House that sometimes they challenged their own members about the legal merits of impeachment investigations, a nuanced argument that is usually heard in the corridors of the Congress rather than in a suburban community center. They specifically praised House Speaker Jerry Nadler (DN.Y.) by name, dropping witnesses such as former White House attorney Don McGahn, who was mentioned several times in Mueller's 448-page report Democratic Caucus appeal in This month, in which spokeswoman Nancy reaffirmed Pelosi's cautious stance on the subject.

"The public is not present because of impeachment. It's your voice and your constituency, but give me the leverage I need to make sure we're ready and it's as strong as we can get, "Pelosi told House Democrats in a conference call last week.

] "The shares we have to weigh are our responsibility to defend and defend the Constitution and to unify it. But when and when we act, people will know he left us no choice, "Pelosi added, indicating that Trump is blocking countless congressional investigations. "If he can not comply with the Constitution, we have to take care of it, it's patriotism, not partisanism."

Liberal voters across the country who poured into city halls this month say politics is just that Reason is why Democratic leaders do not oppose impeachment.

In a conservative suburb of Pittsburgh, a man cited lines from the Mueller report when he asked the vulnerable freshman Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) Of his refusal to impeach In the Müller report – front to back – there are a lot of questions we still need to answer, "said Lamb, a former federal attorney, during the event.

In a crowded city council room in Verona, NJ, Democratic representative Mikie Sherrill faced dozens of people who called for impeachment and sometimes interrupted to defend their position.

"If we dami Let's get away, I'm afraid there will be no constitution, "said a woman to Sherrill, which caused applause.

But Sherrill, who is also a former federal prosecutor, said the Democrats have not had enough evidence to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump – an indictment that a majority of their Democrats [19659014] colleagues have declined.

"If we do not believe I, we can not do that easily. The President will be acquitted, and we will now have two branches of our government that behave that way is acceptable, "Sherrill said as the room calmed down, adding that she would support the impeachment if Trump objects to a court order.

But this caused some viewers to blame her for playing politics.

"It's a fight worth fighting." If you lose, you lose, but at least you won the fight, "said one man as Sherrill turned to other questions. Another woman answered with a warning: "Do not be the last to come in. You are challenged."

Rep. Gil Cisneros, a Democrat who has also joined a GOP headquarters in Orange County and parts of Los Angeles, supports the House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee's efforts to get key documents and testimony on the various legal battles that took place make their way through the federal government. But he said the house needed Mueller's information and testimonials from the McGahn Grand Jury and other former White House top executives before the impeachment investigation.

"We can not hold an impeachment trial just with the Müller report. We need the information behind the Müller report that the administration does not give us. That's why we're fighting in court, "Cisneros said in an interview at Buena Park.

In the beach town of Del Mar Outside of San Diego, MP Mike Levin, another vulnerable Democrat from Orange County, defended his support for a voter impeachment inquiry that urged him on the political implications: "Why [Trump] give this gift ? "

" I know that politics is divided in this regard, "Levin told the man. "But I also know that I have to explain with two little children at some point what I did or did not do."

and to know that we have protected our democracy and have stood up for what we thought was right, for what the Founders had intended for us, and not for what we considered politically appropriate or not. " said Levin as voter in the room gave him a standing ovation.

Levin's district, which has been represented for almost two decades by former GOP MP Darrell Issa, includes the most conservative part of Orange County – a suburb of Los Angeles that is rapidly changing democratically – and much more from San Diego County, the is more liberal. But the Democrats still consider him vulnerable, and Levin acknowledged that it will not be easy to keep his job in 2020. Nevertheless, he was ready to take action against the impeachment.

The Constitution stipulates that we will look back on this time and will regret it, "Levin told POLITICO after the Town Hall. "The Müller report speaks for itself. Mueller's testimony speaks for itself.

Kyle Cheney contributed to Massachusetts coverage .

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