Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), chairman the House Committee on Agriculture, confirmed Saturday that he plans to vote against impeaching President Donald Trump over his contacts with Ukraine unless, in the unlikely event, additional information comes to light.
Speaking to The Globe on Saturday, Peterson, Minnesota’s most senior member, said, “unless they come up with something between now and Wednesday,” he will vote against impeachment and expects up to five other Democrats to join him.
“Maybe something will change. I doubt it,” the lawmaker added.
The Minnesota Democrat said he believes that the president has “not committed a crime,” while most of his Seventh District constituents oppose the U.S. providing aid to other counties. He also noted the so-called “whistleblower” complaint — authored by a partisan CIA analyst — regarding President Trump’s July 25 telephone with the leader of Ukraine includes “second-hand” information.
The complaint alleges the president pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in exchange for aid. Both world leaders have denied any pressure was applied to launch the probes,and the White House published a transcript of the call as evidence no quid pro quo occurred.
“This is dividing the country for no good reason, because he’s not going to be thrown out of office,” Peterson said of his colleagues’ impeachment effort, before asking: “Why are we doing this?”
“If people don’t like Trump, they can vote against him,” he added.
Peterson’s comments came amid reports Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ), another moderate Democrat who opposes impeachment, is telling staff members that he plans to defect to the Republican Party.
This week, the House Judiciary Committee voted to advance two articles of impeachment against the president — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — setting the stage for the full House to vote on them on or around Wednesday.