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Michigan Democrat who spoke out against impeachment quickly flips back, now supports impeachment again


Did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi get to her?

Michigan Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) made headlines when she publicly opposed impeaching President Donald Trump, even though she had voted in support of the impeachment inquiry.

Lawrence's opposition to impeachment appeared to be evidence that two weeks of public hearings in the House Intelligence Committee actually caused support for impeachment to drop among Democrats, amid reports that some are getting cold feet as a potential House vote approaches.

Well, Lawrence has now come back to the Democrats' team once again, issuing a "clarification" that despite her saying just two days ago that she didn't want to impeach, she actually now wants to impeach and in fact always wanted to impeach, even two years before any Ukraine issues came up.

"I was an early supporter for impeachment in 2017," Lawrence said in a statement. "The House Intelligence Committee followed a very thorough process in holding hearings these past two weeks. The information they revealed confirmed that this President has abused the power of his office, therefore I continue to support impeachment. However, I am very concerned about Senate Republicans and the fact that they would find this behavior by the President acceptable."

Although she calls it a clarification, it is actually a direct contradiction to what she said Sunday on a podcast.

"We are so close to an election," Lawrence said Sunday. "I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don't see the value of taking him out of office. I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable."

It's possible that Lawrence, who represents a heavily blue district, received a phone call from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office over the past day or so, strongly encouraging her to reconsider stepping out of line and undermining an already potentially tenuous impeachment coalition in the House.

Democrats need only 218 votes in order to pass impeachment articles and send the case to the Senate for a trial, but if there are fewer than the 231 Democratic members who voted for the inquiry supporting impeachment, it will not be a strong look for the case Democrats have made that Trump should be removed.

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