NY Rep. Max Rose backs impeachment inquiry

Rep. Max RoseMax RoseLawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Pence lauds Harris as 'experienced debater'; Trump, Biden diverge over debate prep Navy cancels training flight over NYC on 9/11 after criticism MORE threw his support behind the House’s formal impeachment investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance 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 ClintonFox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio Trump, Biden court Black business owners in final election sprint The power of incumbency: How Trump is using the Oval Office to win reelection 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-CortezOn The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline McCarthy says there will be a peaceful transition if Biden wins Anxious Democrats amp up pressure for vote on COVID-19 aid MORE,] Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Trump attacks Omar for criticizing US: 'How did you do where you came from?' Democrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise MORE and Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Trump signs largely symbolic pre-existing conditions order amid lawsuit 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 BidenPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Fox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio MORE, one of his chief political rivals.

Updated at 12:20 p.m.