U.S. Rep. Jim Himes CSPAN

In a measured speech on the House floor Monday, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, broke ranks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, becoming the first member of the Connecticut delegation to join more than 70 congressional Democrats calling for an impeachment inquiry into the acts of President Donald J. Trump.

“My motive today is not to pressure the speaker of the House, whose leadership in this Congress has been superb,” Himes in a speech prepared for delivery. “She leads us today in the epic mission of defending our democracy. That mission requires a vigorous debate and competing ideas, but it also requires care, discipline and a measure of deference.

“There are moments for careful calculation. For weighing political expediency and conflicting interests. And there moments for clarity and conviction. This is that moment.”

As a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee, Himes has played a role in congressional inquiries into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. But until now he has declined to join the push for an impeachment inquiry opposed by Pelosi, who would rather see the other House inquiries continue.

Himes and the other four members of Connecticut’s House delegation listened Friday to Pelosi shy away from impeachment in a keynote speech at the Connecticut Democrats’ annual fundraising dinner in Hartford. Pelosi attacked the president for his assaults on a free press and his initial welcome of foreign interference in the 2020 race, a position he later recanted.

“Now, he is giving them the green light to do it again,” Pelosi told the audience of 1,000.. “Yes, he will welcome any further intervention.”

“Impeach!” shouted a man, starting a laughing chant that mocked Trump’s attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016. “Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up!”

“I’ll get back to that in a moment,” Pelosi deadpanned.

Himes said Monday the time has come for the House to open an impeachment inquiry.

“From the moment of his inauguration, this president has shown contempt for the truth, has attacked our institutions, and has ignored the Constitution he swore to defend. He has refused the oversight which is Congress’ long-established right and duty,” Himes said. “In recent weeks, he has refused to comply with subpoenas, he has ordered administration officials to refuse to testify, and he has asserted executive privilege of unprecedented scope with respect to attempts to alter the census.

“The President attacks our free press, threatens to jail his political opponents and attacks courts and judges when they challenge his unprecedented behavior.

“That we have not slouched closer to autocracy is due to the strength of the democratic safeguards and protections that we have built and defended for two and a half centuries. Most Americans sense the danger and have reacted, most recently by electing a House of Representatives with the power and desire to check this President.  The President has refused to acknowledge or acquiesce to that power.”

His colleagues on Friday saw Pelosi allowing the House to investigate Trump without the politically dangerous step of an impeachment inquiry.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said under Pelosi the House has been very aggressive in its efforts to investigate wrongdoing by Trump.

The state’s only freshman, U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-5th District, said then she was satisfied to follow the speaker’s lead: “I think that from what I’ve seen so far, she is so incredibly politically astute, and I’ve come to  trust her judgment. I think she sees long range what so many people can’t yet see.”

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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  1. Do nothing resisters have a lot of nerve spending $25 million on a fake investigation. Shameful of any Dem to cover up the fact that the DNC, CLINTON and OBAMA colluded to spy on a political rival and fix an election.

    1. Lori, first of all, the total anticipated cost of the Mueller investigation is around $40 million. That does not account for the approximately $8 million that Manafort surrendered to the US government. Second, the Mueller report clearly stated that they were following OLC policy of not indicting a sitting president. Since you clearly did not read the Mueller report, you will have to wait until July 17th, when Mueller testifies before Congressional oversight committees, to find out that yes, the president obstructed justice multiple times. Third, there is zero evidence that the DNC, Obama or Clinton spied on a political rival. Fourth, the Mueller report outlined the Russian interference with the 2016 election, which clearly was done to hurt Clinton’s chances of winning. Again, you can find out the truth on July 17th.

  2. Attempting to impeach the President will result in his re-election. However, if the Democrats do not attempt to impeach President Trump they will alienate the extreme elements of their base and this will result in his re-election.

    In any case, President Trump will be re-elected and serve to completion a second term as President of the United States.

    The problem that the Democrat Party should be attempting to resolve is how to prevent Trump’s third term from being served by President Pence because that is exactly what is going to happen.

    The People will not stand for the impeachment of the President.

    1. Not really sure which “People” you are talking about but a majority of Americans would not reelect a president that clearly violated numerous laws, has made a mockery of the office of the President, and has embarrassed all Americans with his foreign relation blunders. And Pence winning a general election for the presidency is laughable. You’re a funny guy! 😉

    1. Obstruction. Mueller was clear in that he followed OLC policy of not indicting a sitting president. His report outlined at least 10 cases of obstruction so there are 2 avenues to follow. 1, the 3rd branch of government, Congress, can go forward with impeachment proceedings. This would allow the process to be public and the evidence will be clear to all Americans that choose to watch. The Senate, being controlled by the GOP, would not choose to remove the president but once people see the evidence they would vote accordingly. I should say that there are people that don’t care about evidence but they would be in the minority. 2, no impeachment but trump loses the election and is indicted on at least 10 charges of obstruction, indicted on charges brought by the SDNY, and indicted on charges related to the numerous violations of the Emolument Clause. Any way you cut it, the only way trump stays out of prison is to win a 2nd term. So I suggest you either read the Mueller report and educated yourself or grab the popcorn and enjoy the show on July 17th, when Mueller testifies.

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