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Torres Small comes out for impeachment

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Calling it a necessary response to a president using the power of his office for his own personal and political gain, U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-NM, announced Sunday she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

Torres Small, who represents New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, said in a press release that after serious consideration, she will vote for two articles of impeachment against Trump when they are brought to the floor of the United States House of Representatives for a vote.

“We cannot allow any president of either party to abuse the power of his office, jeopardizing our national security in the process, to pressure foreign leaders to conduct investigations against political rivals,” Torres Small said in a release. “We also cannot allow any president to obstruct Congress’ power to investigate impeachable offenses by prohibiting White House and other administration officials from testifying or providing evidence. I must act to protect our national security, our Constitution and the integrity of elections.”

Members of the House Judiciary Committee voted 23-17 — all Democrats for and all Republicans against — to approve two articles of impeachment against Trump, according to the Committee’s website.

One article alleges Trump abused the power of his office for personal and political gain. The article states this was done when Trump conditioned the release of $400 million in military aid to Ukraine and a state visit to the White House on Ukraine announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joseph Biden and Biden’s son Hunter.

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Biden is a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump has said the money was withheld due to concerns about corruption within the Ukrainian government and that the military aid that had been withheld was eventually released.

A second article of impeachment alleges Trump directed the defiance of subpoenas issued by the House in its investigation of Trump regarding the withholding of military aid to Ukraine.

Torres Small was one of the last Democrats to come out in support of the impeachment inquiry when it was announced in September.

In an op-ed in the Oct. 10 edition of the Las Cruces Sun-News, Torres Small came out for the impeachment inquiry. She voted with all but two House Democrats and U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich, to formalize the inquiry on Oct. 30.

Despite that vote, Torres Small is a Democrat conservatives had been trying to persuade to vote against impeachment.

In a string of tweets Saturday, Donald Trump Jr. listed Torres Small among a list of House Democrats from districts Trump won in 2016 whose congressional offices opponents of impeachment should call.

The American Action Network, a conservative organization, also launched a $7 million television and digital advertising blitz, urging Torres Small and 17 House Democrats to oppose impeachment.

When Torres Small announced her intention Sunday, the reaction from Trump allies was swift.

“By putting her party ahead of her constituents and voting for the Democrats’ insane quest to remove President Trump from office, Torres Small has guaranteed her defeat next November,” Bob Salerna, spokesperson for the National Republican Campaign Committee, said in a statement Sunday.

But Helen Smith, manager for Xochitl Torres Small’s re-election campaign, said the congresswoman has a record of working in a bipartisan way to tackle issues, citing her vote for a bipartisan bill to reduce prescription drug prices, legislation to address the shortage in the agricultural workforce and her support for the United States-Mexico Canada Agreement, USMCA.

“Xochitl Torres Small remains focused on continuing her bipartisan work on the issues that are top of mind for New Mexico families,” Smith said.

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

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