Brooklyn Congressman Max Rose announced his support of an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump on Wednesday night — falling in line with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats after initially resisting the effort to eject the nation’s Commander-in-Chief from the Oval Office.
“The American people have a right to know if their president used the power of the office to ask a foreign power to interfere in our elections,” Rose told constituents at a town hall meeting.
Until his announcement on Wednesday, Rose was one of only 12 Democratic members of congress to withhold support for the impeachment effort, which has gained steam among Democratic lawmakers in recent weeks following revelations that Trump asked Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
On Sept. 23, seven first-term congress members and former military veterans signed onto a Washington Post letter supporting impeachment, but Rose — a fellow veteran and freshman lawmaker — was notably absent from the op-ed.
A day later, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her intention to pursue impeachment — making the inquiry a near certainty.
Rose subsequently issued two statements — on Sept. 24 and 27 — in which he called the impeachment proceedings a “partisan” process that would only “deepen divisions” across political lines, and claimed he needed more time to review the “facts” of the controversial phone call.
“I will not operate on any false timeline when our national security is at stake,” Rose wrote. “My constituents — and our country — deserve Members of Congress who will review the facts and ensure the American people are fully informed.”
But at the Staten Island meeting on Oct. 2, Rose changed his tune, arguing that President Trump’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation constituted an impeachable offense.
“Instead of answering our questions, the president and his administration has thrown more fuel on the fire with their stonewalling and obfuscation,” Rose said.
Liberal critics have argued that Rose’s trepidation on supporting the inquiry stemmed from fear of alienating constituents of his relatively-conservative district — which Trump won by 16 points in 2016, and has only elected one other Democrat in the last 30 years, according to the New York Times.
Rose’s political situation is further complicated by the formidable candidacy of his 2020 Republican challenger, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis — who blasted Rose for his impeachment support.
“Max Rose caved to socialists Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Nancy Pelosi in the rush to impeach President Donald Trump,” said Malliotakis. “It just shows that when pressure is applied, Max Rose stands with the radical left instead of the majority of his constituents.”