Rep. Torres Small backs Trump impeachment inquiry

Xochitl Torres Small

U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small has come out in support of the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump over his July phone call with Ukraine’s president.

Torres Small, who represents New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, wrote in an op-ed that was published Thursday in the Las Cruces Sun-News that she decided to support the inquiry after the White House said Tuesday it would not participate in ongoing investigations being led by House Democratic leaders.

“Earlier this week, the president and his administration made it clear to New Mexicans that they are not committed to finding the truth,” Torres Small wrote. “If we refuse to seek the truth, we risk our safety and the integrity of the very Constitution I swore to support and defend.

“Tuesday’s actions by the president and the administration left me with no other way to get the information the country deserves than to support an impeachment inquiry.”

Until Thursday, the congresswoman had been part of small group of House Democrats who had not endorsed an impeachment inquiry. She previously had backed an investigation into the testimony and documents involving Trump’s call but opposed calling the process an impeachment inquiry.

“The gravity of the moment demands that we protect the integrity and clarity of the investigative process,” she said Oct. 2.

In the July call, Trump pressed for an investigation of Democratic political rival Joe Biden and his family at a time when Ukraine was seeking U.S. military assistance for its conflict with Russian-backed troops.

New Mexico GOP Chairman Steve Pearce led a small protest outside Torres Small’s Belen office Wednesday, urging the congresswoman to clarify her stance on the issue of impeachment.

She did so the following morning with the op-ed, in which she said she wanted to see the facts before judging the president’s actions.

“To be very clear, I have not reached judgment on the president’s actions, nor on the appropriate response, but I need the facts to make these weighty decisions,” she wrote.

After winning a tight election in her conservative-leaning Southern New Mexico district last year, Torres Small may face another tough race to hold onto the seat in 2020, particularly as Trump has promised to campaign in New Mexico.

Republican candidates in the 2nd Congressional District already have been raising big money.

Claire Chase, a Roswell oil executive, said Tuesday she raised $510,790 in her first 35 days as a Republican candidate for Congress in Southern New Mexico, an amount she said was more than her primary opponent Yvette Herrell took in during the entire 2018 primary campaign.


Jens Erik Gould covers politics for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He was a correspondent for Bloomberg News in Mexico City, a regular contributor for TIME in California, and produced the video series Bravery Tapes.

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