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Retiring Democratic congressman says Americans are growing weary of impeachment debate

A retiring Democratic member of Congress who has cited his weariness over long-running investigations into President Donald Trump as a primary reason for stepping down said Tuesday he believes many Americans feel the same way.

Rep. Denny Heck of Washington, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, announced his retirement earlier this month, writing on Medium, “the countless hours I have spent in the investigation of Russian election interference and the impeachment inquiry have rendered my soul weary.”

Asked Tuesday in an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” if other Democrats feel the same way — and if that helps explain why recent support for impeaching Trump and removing him from office has dipped slightly since mid-November, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS — Heck said he believes others are also growing weary.

“I think it’s happening to Americans, as a matter of fact,” Heck said.

“This is not, as has been suggested, some kind of a form of spectator sport or entertainment,” he continued. “This is a fundamentally important debate about the future of our republic, and what is necessary in order for us to uphold constitutional principles.”

Heck, who has served in Congress since 2013, added that although he understands why people might be growing weary of investigations into whether the President committed impeachable offenses, he feels they’re vital.

“I don’t think it’s something we should ‘tire of,’ but I do understand the phenomenon, because I’ve admitted to experiencing it myself, growing weary of this debate,” Heck said.

“But to be clear, Alisyn, I am especially weary of those who refuse to accept basic facts,” said Heck, who wants the country to “get back to the point where we can all be on the same page of the facts, and then we can have a healthy disagreement about what to do with the facts.”

The CNN poll conducted by SSRS found that public views on the facts driving the impeachment process have held steady. Americans are about evenly divided over whether there is enough evidence against Trump for the House to vote to impeach him and send the case to the Senate for trial (47% say yes, 48% no, about the same as in November). And a narrow majority (51% now, 53% in November) continue to say Trump used the presidency improperly in his interactions with the President of Ukraine by attempting to gain political advantage against a possible 2020 rival.

The poll also found that Trump’s approval rating has also held steady in the last month: 43% currently approve of the way he is handling his job, 53% disapprove.




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