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VERONA – Near the end of Mikie Sherrill’s Monday evening public event, a group in the rear of the jam-packed room began chanting “Impeach now, impeach now.” In case you couldn’t hear them, some waved signs with the same message.
How to deal with Donald Trump is a growing issue for Democrats and one that is popping up at meeting after meeting as House members are home for the August recess.
Sherrill, who does not support impeachment “now,” said she still wants to hear and see more evidence, referring to testimony by former White House counsel Don McGahn and redacted grand jury testimony.
“We need to make a case … the strongest possible case, the best possible case to the American people,” she said at a “Monday with Mikie” event at borough hall.
“I understand the concerns you have and I think that’s putting it lightly,” she said.
But Sherrill said her concern is that a weak case for impeachment could backfire on the country. Left unsaid was the fact it could backfire on Democrats too.
“If we don’t make a strong enough case … and right now, I don’t think we can do that, the president will be acquitted,” she said, envisioning a trial in the Senate.
Of course, convicting Trump in the GOP-led Senate could be a chancy proposition no matter the evidence.
Nonetheless, there is a perhaps growing segment of Democrats who want impeachment simply because they see it as the moral thing to do.
Speaking for them, Suzanne Markman of Woodland Park said she’s grown weary following the news daily and seeing what she considers the president’s unethical behavior.
Sherrill’s view was not universally embraced by the 100 or so people attending. One woman likened it to mowing the lawn while the house is burning down.
To answer that offbeat analogy, one man offered a history lesson, saying that Richard Nixon was reelected by a landslide in 1972 and less than two years later – August, 1974 – he was gone. He seemed to be saying, Trump can be gone soon as well.
Sherrill has held eight town hall or Monday with Mikie events since taking office in January and this one likely was the liveliest.
Earlier, she was asked how she felt about Israel’s initial decision to ban two congressional critics of the country from visiting. Sherrill said she disagreed with the ban, which was eventually rescinded in the case of one congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. In the end, Tlaib opted not to visit Israel.
While this discussion was beginning, a man stood up to say Israel was right to ban Tlaib and fellow Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, because they are “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Israel.” Saying he was an “independent,” who voted for Sherrill, the man said he feared a growing anti-Semitism in the Democratic party.
Some in the audience loudly disagreed, prompting Sherrill to ask for order and also to say that those who think Democrats are anti-Semitic are mistaken.
“I have spoken out against anti-Semitic comments,” she said.
More broadly, Sherrill reminded the crowd that the Democratic House recently passed a resolution condemning the so-called BDS movement, which calls for businesses and nations to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians.
Other elements of the event were less controversial with Sherrill pleasing the crowd by reiterating her support for expanded gun background checks and a federal ban on semi-automatic weapons.
As has been the case with most of her public events, this one was ignored by Republicans. We’ll see if that changes next Monday when Sherrill has a similar event scheduled in Kinnelon, a Republican redoubt that Sherrill lost last year by about 500 votes to Jay Webber.