NY Rep. Max Rose backs impeachment inquiry

Rep. Max RoseMax RoseSan Francisco mayor endorses Bloomberg Mixed feelings on war power limits: Lawmakers and vet candidates Rep. Bobby Rush endorses Bloomberg's White House bid MORE threw his support behind the House’s formal impeachment investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation 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 ClintonSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti defends Tulsi Gabbard's lawsuit against Hillary Clinton Trump to hold rally on eve of New Hampshire primary 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-CortezBiden to go on Iowa tour with swing district lawmakers CNN cancels next week's Iowa town halls Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez hit back at JPMorgan CEO over comments on socialism: 'That's funny' MORE,] Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE and Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats hammer abuse of power charge, allege Trump put self over country Overnight Energy: Trump issues rule replacing Obama-era waterway protections | Pelosi slams new rule as 'an outrageous assault' | Trump water policy exposes sharp divides Pelosi slams Trump administration's new water rule: 'An outrageous assault' 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 BidenSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE, one of his chief political rivals.

Updated at 12:20 p.m.