Freshman Illinois Congresswoman Lauren Underwood says she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump.
Underwood is arguably Illinois’ most politically vulnerable member of Congress.
Throughout the impeachment process, the Democrat has been withholding judgment. But on Tuesday, she joined a growing chorus of Democrats from right-leaning districts who’ve announced they would support their party’s effort to remove Trump.
“The president has demonstrated a pattern of corrupt behavior, and abused his power for his own personal political gain when he pressured foreign leaders to conduct investigations against political rivals, jeopardizing our country’s national security and the integrity of our elections,” Underwood said in a brief statement on the floor of the House.
Underwood's 14th Congressional District encompasses suburban, exurban and rural areas outside Chicago, from the Wisconsin border to the suburbs of Joliet. The area was long considered a Republican stronghold — President Trump won it by 3.74 percentage points in 2016 — but last year she upset incumbent Rep. Randy Hultgren by 5 percentage points.
Underwood said she made her decision after reviewing the evidence, studying the articles of impeachment, and listening to her constituents.
“Our country’s founders created impeachment so that no president could place themselves above the law, a crucial Constitutional check-of-power that ensures our country’s security and values are protected against corruption and foreign influence in our elections,” Underwood said. “In order to uphold my sworn oath, I must vote to protect the Constitution and will vote in support of the articles of impeachment.”
Republican National Committee spokesman Kevin Knoth issued a statement condemning the decision.
“Voters won’t forget her cowardice,” he wrote. “Underwood’s political career is over.”
Underwood has already been targeted with an anti-impeachment ad campaign sponsored by a Trump-aligned SuperPAC.