NY Rep. Max Rose backs impeachment inquiry

Rep. Max RoseMax RoseThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster Dem lawmaker rips O'Rourke: 'I don't think losing is cool' Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions MORE threw his support behind the House’s formal impeachment investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE on Wednesday as the New York Democrat walks a tightrope in his GOP-leaning Staten Island district. 

Rose made the announcement at a town hall, saying Trump appeared “willing to violate the Constitution” in his dealings with Ukraine. But he said support for the House’s investigation will not stop him from simultaneously dealing with kitchen table issues important to his constituents.

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“I will not shirk my duty and I will not violate my oath. I will support and I will defend the United States Constitution. And it is for that reason that I intend to fully support this impeachment inquiry and follow the facts,” Rose said. 

“But, I want to make something else very, very clear: Nothing, nothing at all — impeachment or otherwise — will distract us, will distract me from my work fighting for you. I will not let this or anything else detract us from our focus on ending the opioid epidemic, holding pharmaceutical companies accountable, making sure that we have the backs of our cops and our firefighters and our first responders, and yes — ending our commuting nightmare.” 

Rose, who won his first term in 2018 by unseating Republican Rep. Dan Donovan, was one of just a handful of holdouts among Democrats nationwide in supporting the impeachment probe and was under intense pressure to fall in line.

Unlike the rest of New York City’s congressional districts, Rose’s does not appear to be fertile ground for impeachment support — Staten Island was the only borough to back Trump, supporting him by 17 points over Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonVideo of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Ronan Farrow exposes how the media protect the powerful Kamala Harris to Trump Jr.: 'You wouldn't know a joke if one raised you' MORE in 2016.

“I have opposed a rush to judgment to date because the American people deserve to know that when this country is in crisis, we’re going to react responsibly and deliberately,” Rose said Wednesday. "If the president is right and he has nothing to hide, then all we ask today is that he proves it ... I'm going to follow these facts wherever they lead, no matter the consequences." 

Only one Democrat in New York’s House delegation remains uncommitted on impeachment: Rep. Anthony Brindisi. 

Rose's opposition to impeachment had helped him attract a primary challenger from the left. In the general election, Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis is set to take on the Democratic nominee. She has accused Rose of caving to pressure from progressives on impeachment.

"Just one day after finding out he had a challenger in the Democrat primary, [Congressman Max Rose] caved to socialists [Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders wishes Ocasio-Cortez happy birthday Democrat launches primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' MORE,] Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarNew California law bans school lunch debt shaming The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster The Hill's Morning Report — Arrest of Giuliani associates triggers many questions MORE and Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden on impeachment: 'I'm the only reason' it's happening Democrats to offer resolution demanding Trump reverse Syria decision Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter MORE in the rush to impeach [Trump]. It just shows that when pressure is applied, Max Rose stands with the radical left,” she tweeted, referring to Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic House progressives from New York and Minnesota.  

Support for impeachment has spiked in recent weeks, with 226 House Democrats backing the investigation into Trump, according to The Hill’s tally. Pelosi formally launched the inquiry last week over news that Trump pressured Ukraine to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage Schiff: Whistleblower testimony might not be necessary Trump warns Democrats will lose House seats over impeachment MORE, one of his chief political rivals.

Updated at 12:20 p.m.