WASHINGTON — Democrats have spent years punting on the question of impeaching Trump for fear it would quickly become deeply partisan — and politically risky ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it in March, “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country.”
But now they’re on the cusp of impeaching Trump — and not a single Republican is on board. This is an exception in impeachment history; the Clinton and Nixon trials garnered some support from both sides of the aisle.
What changed? Democrats say Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden was the tipping point — and makes it worth acting alone.
So VICE News asked Democrats why the vote is so partisan — and what it means for the country.
“It's a problem for the Republican Party ... They're not standing behind the constitution. They're putting party politics before country. I think that it's going to backfire, to tell you the truth,” said Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a Democrat from Florida.
This article originally appeared on VICE US.