U.S. Rep. Max Rose, who had been the only holdout in the New York City congressional delegation over the question of opening an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, changed course on Wednesday and announced that he is now supports the inquiry.
“So while the president of the United States may be willing to violate the Constitution to get re-elected, I will not,” Rose said in his opening remarks at a transportation town hall on Staten Island. “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, a Democrat who represents several neighborhoods in Southwest Brooklyn and the entire borough of Staten Island, came out in support of the House impeachment probe a day after fellow Democrat Richard-Olivier Marius announced a primary challenge against the freshman lawmaker.
Rose is a U.S. Army veteran who won a Purple Heart in the war in Afghanistan and his statements on the importance of defending the Constitution might carry a great deal of weight as the impeachment process moves forward, according to political observers.
Rose told the audience at the town hall that he just wants to get to the facts. The House is looking into whether Trump used military aid as leverage to push Ukraine into digging up political dirt against Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden.
“We have got to follow these facts where they lead us and where we find ourselves today, the president has no one to blame but himself,” Rose said. “Today, there are soldiers throughout the world putting their life on the line, Afghanistan, Iraq, so many other nations. I was just one of them eight years ago and some of my buddies are still amongst them. There’s no way with them in mind that we can let any type of corruption stand.”
Rose also vowed that House Democrats can still do their jobs while the impeachment probe plays out. “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,” he told the Staten Island audience.
Rose is scheduled to hold a town hall on transportation issues in Bensonhurst on Friday, Oct. 4.
Republican Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, who is running to defeat Rose in 2020, blasted the congressmember’s new stance 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 Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Nancy Pelosi in the rush to impeach President Donald Trump. It just shows that when pressure is applied, Max Rose stands with the radical left instead of the majority of his constituents,” Malliotakis said in a statement.
Malliotakis, who represents sections of Bay Ridge and Staten Island, is forgoing running for re-election to her Assembly seat to run for Congress.