Rep. Brenda Lawrence, a Michigan Democrat, scrambled to correct herself Tuesday after saying over the weekend that it would be unwise to remove President Donald Trump from office, and that Democrats should consider censuring him instead.
After the GOP trumpeted her comments as evidence of emerging cracks in the Democratic front, Lawrence issued a clarification.
“I was an early supporter for impeachment in 2017 … I continue to support impeachment,” she said in a statement on Tuesday. “However, I am very concerned about Senate Republicans and the fact that they would find this behavior by the President unacceptable.”
Speaking on the “No BS News Hour” Sunday, Lawrence initially said she believed there was enough evidence to impeach the president, but not enough votes in the Republican-controlled Senate to remove him from office. She suggested that the impeachment process should end in censure instead.
“We are so close to an election,” Lawrence said. “I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don’t see the value of taking him out of office. But I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable, it’s in violation of the office and the oath of office of president of the United States.”
After the host asked if Lawrence was saying “in an election year, that it’s unwise to tear him from the chair,” she responded that she was.
“I want him censured,” she said. “I want it on the record that the House of Representatives did their job and they told this president and any president coming behind him that this is unacceptable behavior and under our Constitution we will not allow it.”
Lawrence’s backtrack comes after the Washington Post’s Rachael Bade said on CNN that some moderate Democrats were starting to get “cold feet” on impeachment, and Politico reported that vulnerable Democrats were “spooked” by new ads from Republicans on the issue of impeachment.