Dem Leader Expects to Lose Some Dems on Impeachment Vote

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D., S.C.) said Friday morning that he expects some Democrats to vote against impeaching President Donald Trump.

"We do expect to lose some, and that's why I say it is a conscience vote," he said during an appearance on CNN's New Day.

"I think it would be a bit unseemly for us to go out, whipping up a vote on something like this," he later added. "This is too serious. This is too much about preserving this great republic, and I think we ought to leave it up to each member to decide how he or she would like to vote."

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Clyburn mentioned fellow South Carolina representative Joe Cunningham (D.) as an example of someone who may vote against impeachment to reflect the interests of his constituents.

"I'm not going to urge him to vote the way I'm going to vote," Clyburn said. "I think I've heard enough. I've seen enough. If we cannot vote to impeach with what we had in testimonies last week, what we've seen in news reports this week, then we ought to just modify the Constitution and get rid of impeachment altogether."

Cunningham's office issued a statement Thursday condemning President Trump's conduct but said the congressman is reserving judgment until he sees the specific articles of impeachment.

One Democrat is already signaling he will oppose impeachment. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D., N.J.) said he would vote against all of the articles of impeachment, saying he would prefer a censure of the president.

Van Drew and Rep. Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) were the only Democrats who voted against the initial House resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry. Reports indicate that more moderate Democrats will reserve judgment on whether to support impeachment until they can view the specific charges against the president.