FARGO — As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to undergo President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, North Dakota and Minnesota politicians have fallen along party lines.
Except one Minnesota Democrat who's bucking the trend.
“If anyone thinks a partisan impeachment process would constraint President Trump, they are fooling themselves,” Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said in a statement this week.
Peterson represents Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District, a region that covers nearly all of western Minnesota and includes Clay, Becker, Otter Tail, Norman and Wilkin counties among many others.
“Without significant bipartisan support, impeachment proceedings will be a lengthy and divisive action with no resolution,” Peterson said. "I believe it will be a failed process that will end up even further dividing our country."
Peterson is one of only 12 Democrats to go against overwhelming support his party has given for formal impeachment inquiries since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the announcement on Tuesday, Sept. 24, amid allegations Trump abused his power by pressuring the head of a foreign government to investigate a political rival.
Trump allegedly asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential hopeful, and Biden’s son.
Minnesota’s Democratic senators, Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, both backed the House’s plan for impeachment.
In a released statement, Smith said she supports the proceedings “as a matter of national security and protective the rule of law and our Constitution.”
We must fully and fairly open a process to lay out all the facts.— Senator Tina Smith (@SenTinaSmith) September 24, 2019
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/WnkJHQ4FWr
Klobuchar said in a series of tweets that Trump abused his power and made deals with foreign governments that compromised the security of the country; a tweet following Pelosi's announcement said simply “the House did the right thing.”
The whistleblower complaint makes clear that the President repeatedly asked a foreign government to interfere in our elections and then the White House tried to cover it up. The President is abusing his power and shredding the Constitution.— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) September 26, 2019
Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, North Dakota’s Republican senators, voiced their opposition to the House’s plans.
"Democrats are undermining our President and consequently our nation’s credibility by carrying on this impeachment circus,” Cramer said in a statement.
The conversation between @POTUS and President Zelenskyy was entirely appropriate. It did not need to be read by every member of Congress or the American people, and I am concerned about the precedent this sets for future conversations between world leaders.— Sen. Kevin Cramer (@SenKevinCramer) September 25, 2019
My statement⬇️ pic.twitter.com/4PZxE5PjzX
In two tweets on Wednesday, Sept. 25, Hoeven said the released transcripts between Trump and Zelensky don’t show any “evidence of a quid pro quo” and that the “House continues to focus on impeachment when they should be moving forward on important priorities.”
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., echoed Hoeven and Cramer’s sentiments and said in a news release that “House Democrats continue to de-legitimize a duly elected President and pass partisan bills that have no chance of becoming law.”