A very interesting new report from Axios is out.
The following six House Democratic lawmakers all attended the White House Congressional Ball thrown this week by President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, the publication noted.
An independent lawmaker also attended the fancy affair on Thursday night at the same time as House Democrats are pushing their impeachment actions against Trump.
As one senior White House official said of Trump’s critics, “It’s kind of odd to be voting to say the guy is a clear and present danger to the globe but ‘I’m going to come and hang out at the White House for a black tie affair,'” as Axios reported.
But the outlet shared this note as well: “If you’re looking for clues about which House Democrats might vote against impeaching President Trump next week, one tempting place to start is with those who chose to be Trump’s guests at the annual ball — but that doesn’t mean the two lists will totally overlap.”
Democrats attending the party included these individuals (the notes that follow each name are from the Axios report).
1.) Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.): Trump won the district in 2016. Delgado is a first-term congressman and defeated a Republican incumbent in a close contest. Delgado is also the first African-American or Hispanic representative from upstate New York. His staff did not respond to requests for comment.
2.) Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.). Trump won the district in 2016. Lee is a first-term congresswoman who managed to keep the seat in Democrats’ hands in a close general election race. Lee’s staff previously said she’s undecided on impeachment. A spokesperson confirmed that Lee attended the ball, saying it was a way to demonstrate that “she’s committed to being a bipartisan problem solver through and through.”
3.) Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.). Trump won the district in 2016. Luria is Navy veteran and a first-term congresswoman who unseated a Republican incumbent in a tight race. Her staff did not respond to requests for comment.
4.) Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.). Trump lost the district in 2016. Costa has served in Congress since 2005, in the 20th and now the 16th districts. He represents an agricultural area. Costa could not be reached for comment.
5.) Rep. Josh Harder (D-Calif.). Trump lost the district in 2016. Harder is a first-term congressman who unseated a Republican incumbent in a close race. His staff did not respond to requests for comment.
6.) Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-Calif.). Trump lost the district in 2016. Cisneros is a first-term congressman. He is also a Navy veteran, former Republican and a lottery winner. Cisneros’ chief of staff Nic Jordan did not deny his boss attended the White House party, but shared tweets, including this one by CNN’s Manu Raju, emphasizing that Cisneros will vote for impeachment, even though he may get “some blowback” — because “this is about national security.”
Gil Cisneros, a freshman who won a tough race in California last year, told me he will vote for both articles of impeachment but acknowledged: "There may be some blowback … But as I've always said, for me this is about national security." pic.twitter.com/wbzuQVjcn3
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 11, 2019
Also: Independent Justin Amash (I-Mich.) attended as well. Amash left the Republican Party earlier this year after he backed formal impeachment proceedings. Amash’s chief of staff Poppy Nelson told Axios, “Rep. Amash has celebrated Christmas at the White House with his colleagues every year he has served in Congress.”
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) was also present at the event — but her spokesman John Kraus told Axios there is no link between her attendance at Trump’s party and her thoughts about impeachment.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated he plans to acquit President Trump in the Senate should the House of Representatives move on impeachment.
CNN reported that two Republican senators — John Cornyn of Texas is one; the other is anonymous — have said McConnell will push for a vote to acquit the president, rather than one to simply dismiss the charges.
McConnell is reportedly seeking to vote on acquittal to clear Trump of charges brought against him by the House Democrats — 67 votes are required for conviction — rather than “simply rely[ing] on a 51-vote threshold procedural motion to dismiss the hotly disputed case.”
The Republican senator himself hinted this might be the approach he uses.
“It could go down the path of calling witnesses and basically having another trial or it could decide — and again, 51 members could make that decision — that they’ve heard enough and believe they know what would happen and could move to vote on the two articles of impeachment,” he said.
What are your thoughts on the topic at the start of this article? Should these House Dems have attended the White House celebrations even as they apparently are moving to impeach the commander-in-chief — who was duly elected by the American people in 2016?
And does their attendance at the event indicate a vote one way or the other — for or against impeachment?
Share your insights and views below.