California Democratic Rep. Katie Porter publicly backed an impeachment investigation Monday evening, posting a video on Twitter on her decision. Porter is one of just two House Democrats who represent competitive districts and are publicly backing impeachment of President Trump.
Porter’s announcement was met with immediate GOP backlash and a threat that the move “will cost Porter her seat” in 2020. Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey is the other so-called “Frontline” Democrat who says the House should launch an inquiry. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee designated 44 legislators whose districts are seen as key to holding on to the House in 2020.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who has the most influential voice in the decision on whether to move forward, has repeatedly stated that she plans to focus on current congressional committee investigations into Trump before talking about an impeachment inquiry.
Currently, 69 Democrats and one Republican in the House of Representatives support beginning an impeachment inquiry into Trump for potential obstruction of justice. Out of those 69 Democrats, almost all share two important qualities: Their seats are safe in 2020, and they are not members of the House Democratic leadership team.
Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan is the only Republican to back launching an inquiry, and he has received criticism from constituents and the GOP for his decision.
Among the House Democrats who are most influential in this process — key committee chairs investigating the president and his aides, top leaders and, of course, the speaker herself — only one has signaled she favors impeaching the president. Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has been calling for impeachment since the early days of Trump’s presidency; she wrote in a February 2017 tweet that her “greatest desire was to lead [Trump] right into impeachment.”
NPR will continue to track where each member of the House of Representatives stands on impeachment proceedings. See something we missed? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.