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NY Rep. Max Rose backs impeachment inquiry

Rep. Max RoseMax RoseDemocrats seek wave to bolster House majority Centrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote Lawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal MORE threw his support behind the House’s formal impeachment investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll 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 ClintonTrump may continue to campaign after Election Day if results are not finalized: report Hillicon Valley: Biden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked | Majority of voters in three swing states saw ads on social media questioning election validity: poll | Harris more often the target of online misinformation Analysis: Where the swing states stand in Trump-Biden battle 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: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez offer bill to create national public banking system 'Drink water and don't be racist': Ocasio-Cortez gives Republicans upset over Vanity Fair outfit 'pointers' on how to look better MORE,] Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez: Republicans don't believe Democrats 'have the stones to play hardball' Progressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Ocasio-Cortez hits Trump for 'disrespect' over calling her AOC during debates MORE and Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election Overnight Health Care: House Dem report blasts Trump coronavirus response | Regeneron halts trial of antibody drug in sickest hospitalized patients | McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 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 BidenBiden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll Ivanka Trump raises million in a week for father's campaign On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election MORE, one of his chief political rivals.

Updated at 12:20 p.m.