Ex-Rep. Trott says he probably would have voted to impeach; GOP claps back

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Former Rep. David Trott, a Republican from Birmingham, says he "probably would have" voted to impeach President Donald Trump and is considering backing a Democratic candidate in 2020.

Trott, who served two terms representing Michigan's 11th District in the U.S. House, said he wouldn't support every potential Democratic nominee. But he highlighted former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg as someone he potentially could support in a race against Trump.

"We need someone to come in and pull the country together and put together bipartisan solutions," Trott said.

U.S. Rep. David Trott

Trott made the comments in an interview on Sunday, a day after The New York Times published an article, in which the former congressman was critical of Trump. Also, the new edition of The Atlantic magazine featured a letter from Trott, in which he labeled Trump "unfit for office."

"A lot of people talk about all of the great things that Trump has done," Trott said in the interview on Sunday. "We do have a lot of good things going on. Most of them are a result of the Republican Congress, not the president’s leadership."

Republicans currently control the U.S. Senate. They lost their majority in the U.S. House in 2018.

Trott's letter in The Atlantic was in a response to an article in the magazine on Trump's handling of foreign policy. In the letter, Trott said he would consider voting for a Democrat in 2020, adding that "high unemployment," "a stagnating economy" and "massive debt for a few years" would be better than "alienating the rest of our allies, getting into a nuclear war with Iran or allowing 10,000 Islamist soldiers to be set free in Syria."

On Sunday, Trott said he wouldn't vote for the more liberal candidates pursuing the Democratic nomination, like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. However, Trott highlighted Bloomberg, a businessman who served three terms as mayor of New York City.

"I don’t think many Republicans would argue with his success there," Trott said of Bloomberg, who made a campaign stop in Detroit on Saturday.

As a businessman himself, Trott said he would like to see a stable set of rules in place instead of one president spending all of his or her time undoing everything the previous president had done.

Like Bloomberg, Trump also visited Michigan last week. On Wednesday — the day the U.S. House voted to impeach Trump — the president held a rally in Battle Creek, where he told his supporters that he had done nothing wrong.

Without support from any Republican representatives, the Democratic controlled  U.S. House voted in favor of two articles of impeachment against Trump, accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The charges focus on his handling of foreign aid for Ukraine.

Michigan Republicans voiced frustration on Sunday with Trott's comments and his letter in The Atlantic.

Meshawn Maddock, chairwoman of the 11th Congressional District Republican Committee, slammed Trott on Sunday, labeling him a "Democrat in disguise." Maddock said Trott had abandoned his constituents, allowing a Democrat to win his old seat. 

"We have always suspected that David Trott is not conservative," Maddock added. "He’s certainly not conservative enough for us in the 11th District."

In 2018, Democrat Haley Stevens won Trott's old seat in the U.S. House. The 11th District features portions of Oakland and Wayne counties.

Marian Sheridan, co-founder of the group Michigan Trump Republicans, focused on Trott's mention of a "stagnating economy" in his letter to the magazine and his past work with a foreclosure law firm.

The 11th District is "no worse off" with Stevens "who voted for impeachment and is calling to end the NRA (National Rifle Association)," Sheridan argued.

Trott, an attorney by trade, was first elected to the U.S. House in 2014. He was elected to a second term in 2016. He announced in September 2017 that he wouldn't seek re-election.

"I miss some of the policy discussions and I miss some of the people certainly on both sides of the aisle. But it’s not a very productive place," Trott said.