One of the seven House Democrats who had not made a public statement in support of launching an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he will back the House resolution formalizing the procedures of the investigation.
“While I disagreed with the initial decision to open the impeachment inquiry, it is clear that the investigation has confirmed information contained in the whistleblower complaint,” Rep. Jared Golden of Maine said in a news release Wednesday. “For the good of our country and the public’s understanding of the process, this investigation should no longer continue solely in a closed setting. Tomorrow, I’ll vote to open up the House investigation to the American people.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced earlier this week a House vote planned for Thursday to formalize the procedures of the impeachment inquiry into Trump and Ukraine, marking what will be the first time the House will go on the record on the proceedings.
More on the impeachment inquiry from CNN
- Trump impeachment tracker: Following all the action in Congress
- Trump impeachment inquiry: A visual timeline
- Trump's Ukraine scandal: Who's who?
- The phases of Trump's coming impeachment proceedings
- Trump's Ukraine phone call, annotated
- Key allegations from the Ukraine whistleblower are true, despite what Trump says
- The Ukraine text messages, annotated
Golden, though, cautioned in his statement that his support for the resolution “does not indicate that I am in favor of impeaching the president.”
“As I’ve said from the beginning, I will continue to treat these allegations with the gravity they deserve, and I refuse to prejudge the outcome. While the investigation continues, I will remain committed to the work the people of my state sent me to Congress to do,” he said.
Before Wednesday, Golden, whose district Trump won by 10 points in 2016, had resisted the growing support for an impeachment inquiry. According to the Bangor Daily News, Golden said at a recent constituent meeting: “We didn’t get one question about impeachment, about (former special counsel Robert) Mueller, about ‘the Squad’ (four minority women members of the House of Representatives), about socialism versus Donald Trump – none of this BS that I think drives the silent majority of Americans absolutely insane.”
His announcement leaves just six House Democrats who have not made public statements in support of starting an impeachment inquiry or have only posited conditional support for it.
Those Democrats – Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, Rep. Anthony Brindisi of New York, Rep. Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Rep. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina and Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin – all represent districts Trump won in 2016.
In September, Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into the President after a White House transcript of a July call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed he pushed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden – his potential 2020 political rival – and his son, Hunter. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.