White House slams Slotkin for impeachment decision

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, the Michigan Democrat who revealed Monday her support for articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, was slammed Tuesday by the Trump administration.

Steven Groves, White House deputy press secretary, argued in a statement that Slotkin, the freshman Democrat from Holly, "sold out her constituents" for what Groves described as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "sham impeachment process."

"Instead of working to revitalize the manufacturing industry, improve our infrastructure or modernize our trade deals, as President Trump has continually fought for, it is a shame that Slotkin, Pelosi and the coastal elites have done nothing but focus on impeachment since day one of his presidency," Groves said.

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin speaks during a constituent community conversation at the Oakland Center, at Oakland University.

The White House statement came a day after Slotkin, who beat a Republican incumbent in 2018, announced she would support articles of impeachment against Trump. The full U.S. House is expected to vote on the articles on Wednesday, the same day Trump will hold a Christmas-themed rally in Battle Creek.

On Monday, Slotkin described the two articles of impeachment against Trump as "bigger than politics." She revealed her decision on the same day that several other freshmen Democrats who flipped GOP seats said they also planned to vote to impeach the president, including U.S. Reps. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Ben McAdams of Utah, Abigail Spanburger of Virginia and Andy Kim of New Jersey

The articles accuse Trump of "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress." They allege that Trump used the powers of the presidency to solicit interference from Ukraine in the 2020 presidential election by seeking an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burismo.

Slotkin made her case for supporting the articles of impeachment during a crowded constituent meeting at Oakland University on Monday. Slotkin said she recognized that her decision to support impeachment was a risky one in the swing district.

Slotkin flipped the 8th District, which reaches from Ingham County to northern Oakland County, in 2018 by nearly 4 percentage points, beating then-Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Rochester. Trump won the district by nearly 7 percentage points in 2016.

"I hope that even if people don't agree with my decision they see that I based my decision on my personal integrity," Slotkin said. "And that is the most I can do to show people that I hear them even if we don't agree."

While the White House lumped in Slotkin with other Democrats who have called for impeachment since 2017 and the beginning of this year, such as Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, she resisted calls for an impeachment inquiry until details of Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Slotkin camp sent out a fundraising email seeking to cash in on Trump's attack.

"President Trump and his team are attacking Elissa with all they’ve got," said the email from Team Slotkin. "They know that winning our swing district is a part of their path to winning Michigan. And the events of this week showed us how closely this race will be watched across the country.

"President Trump and his team are attacking Elissa for standing up for our Constitution and taking a principled approach to impeachment."

Michigan's House Democrats and independent U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Cascade Township are expected to back impeachment, while all six Michigan Republicans are set to vote against impeachment. 

Staff Writer Beth LeBlanc contributed