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Torres Small against impeachment inquiry — for now

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Breaking with most in her own party, U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-NM, said Wednesday that she does not support an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump at this time.

In a statement posted on her official congressional Facebook page and Twitter account, Torres Small, who represents News Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, said calls in which Trump asked the Ukrainian President to investigate Vice President Joe Biden need to be investigated, but said designating the process an impeachment inquiry leads many to falsely believe a conclusion in the matter has been reached, when in reality, the investigative process is still underway.

“The gravity of the moment demands that we protect the integrity and clarity of the investigative process. Right now, at this critical juncture in our nation’s history, we must proceed with deliberateness, while casting partisan politics and politically charged language aside,” the statement reads.

In an email released through her office Thursday, Torres Small said it is important the inquiry gets to the truth of what happened and that the issue, which has engulfed much of the news coming out of the nation’s capital, not distract Congress from its other work.

“We must get the truth, and while we do that, we must also stay focused on the job communities like mine sent me to do,” she stated in the email.

The statement from Torres Small comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Sept. 24 the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives would begin a formal impeachment inquiry of Trump.

The other four members of New Mexico’s all-Democratic congressional delegation have come out in support of an impeachment inquiry of Trump. New Mexico’s two other U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland and Ben Ray Lujan, assistant speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives — voiced support for impeaching Trump in August.

New Mexico U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich both came out in support of impeachment shortly after Pelosi’s announcement about an impeachment inquiry.

Torres Small, a freshman congresswoman narrowly elected in 2018 New Mexico 2nd Congressional District — usually a Republican stronghold — did not mention impeachment in her initial statement following Pelosi’s Sept. 24 announcement.

Instead, she called for the Trump administration to release the text of a whistleblower complaint about the July call with the Ukrainian president which sparked the inquiry and that any testimony from the whistleblower or any other officials be allowed to occur without interference from the White House.

According to the Hill, a Washington D.C.-based political newspaper, at least 226 of the 235 Democrats in the U.S. House have come out in support of an impeachment inquiry.

Torres Small’s statements also come as polls show growing support among  the public for impeachment.

A USA Today/Ipsos poll taken Tuesday and Wednesday show that 45% of respondents support impeaching Trump, compared to 37% that do not. That is an increase from a poll taken in June that showed a majority — 61%– against impeachment and only 32% for it.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.