Washington — As Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday she would launch a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, members of the Connecticut delegation, who had opposed that action, said they believe the president has left them with no alternative.
Reps. John Larson, D-1st District, Jahana Hayes, D-5th District, and Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, all called Tuesday for the House to begin impeachment proceedings against the president. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, has been on record since June supporting the House begin an impeachment inquiry.
And, earlier in the day, both Connecticut senators, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, also said they would urge the House to begin impeachment proceedings.
The political game changer, according to Connecticut lawmakers and Democratic colleagues who on Tuesday also dropped their opposition to impeachment, began with allegations by an intelligence agency whistleblower that surfaced last week.
In a complaint to an inspector general, the whistleblower accused Trump of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call to begin a corruption investigation into former Vice President Joseph Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, and the candidate’s son, Hunter Biden.
“The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
The phone call was made the day after former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress about his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
The Trump administration has declined to release the whistleblower’s complaint, angering many Democrats.
The House plans to vote Wednesday on a resolution condemning the Trump administration’s efforts to block the release of the complaint and the need to protect the whistleblower.
In announcing the impeachment inquiry, Pelosi said Trump has violated his oath of office and obligations under the Constitution.
“The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law,” Pelosi said after a closed-door meeting with members of her party.
She said that six separate committees will be reporting to her on their findings related to Trump’s actions while in office under the umbrella of a formal inquiry.
Himes, who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee that is among the panels tasked with the impeachment inquiry, said House Democrats are “unified” behind the plan.
“This is a serious enough step,” he said. “We are beginning to meet the president’s behavior with a calibrated response.”
Democratic lawmakers will demand that Joseph Maguire, the Director of National Intelligence, release the whistleblower’s complaint when he appears before a House Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
“At that time, he must turn over the whistleblower’s full complaint to the committee,” Pelosi said. “He will have to choose whether to break the law or honor his responsibility to the Constitution.”
Larson said he would press for impeachment at Tuesday afternoon’s caucus meeting because “the Trump administration has continued to obstruct and break the law.”
“I have spoken with Rep. Jim Himes, a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, at length who has underscored the gravity of this situation, which is why at today’s caucus I will be advocating for impeachment proceedings to begin,” Larson said.
“This is a serious enough step. We are beginning to meet the president’s behavior with a calibrated response.”
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District
Although Trump vowed Tuesday to release a transcript of his phone conversation with Zelensky, Larson said this isn’t sufficient.
In statements released Tuesday afternoon, Hayes and Courtney said they resisted calls for impeachment — until now.
Hayes said the Trump administration has made “repeated attempts to impede any investigation by blocking the collection of facts.”
“The thwarting of congressional authority at every turn is unconscionable and is in clear violation of the Constitution,” Hayes said.
Courtney, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, also said he is dismayed that the administration has refused to release the whistleblower complaint to Congress.
“I am deeply troubled by the grave national security implications of allowing a president to abuse our system of checks and balances, and to willfully ignore Congress’s role in providing critical security aid to our partners abroad,” Courtney said.
After the Democratic caucus meeting, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, referred reporters to a statement she issued on Monday about the Ukrainian affair.
“An impeachment inquiry may be the only recourse Congress has if the President is enlisting foreign assistance in the 2020 election,” DeLauro said in her statement. “Congress must meet this pivotal moment in our nation’s history with decisive action.”
Biden on Tuesday also called for Congress to begin impeachment of Trump if the White House continues to stonewall congressional investigations.
Democrats accuse Trump of withholding $250 million in U.S. military aid to increase pressure on Zelensky.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, although he’s admitted to mentioning “corruption” by the Bidens in his phone call with Zelensky and asking his administration to withhold U.S. military aid to Ukraine.
In reaction to a growing scandal, Trump will release an unredacted transcript of his controversial call with Zelensky on Wednesday, seeking to combat allegations he improperly pressured Ukraine to open an investigation into the Bidens.
Trump also plans to meet with Zelensky in person in New York during a meeting of the United Nations before hosting a freewheeling late-afternoon press conference.
The president reacted to the plans for a formal impeachment inquiry in a tweet.
“Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage. So bad for our Country!” he wrote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the House Democrats’ action was a “rush to judgment” that came ” just a few hours after President Trump offered to release the details of his phone conversation with President Zelensky.”
“Speaker Pelosi’s much-publicized efforts to restrain her far-left conference have finally crumbled,” McConnell said. “House Democrats cannot help themselves. Instead of working together across party lines on legislation to help American families and strengthen our nation, they will descend even deeper into their obsession with relitigating 2016.”
While Pelosi was able to keep House Democrats unified behind her plan on Tuesday, some of the more progressive members of her party are eager for an impeachment vote on the president.
“It has to happen,” said Rep. Al Green, D-Texas. “This is being driven by history now.”
As a unafilliated voter I am without words to describe what I see with the Democratic party.Democrats have become the party of intolarence and hatfulness.A party if double standards and anti American.I will never vote Democratic again!
So you believe that the office of the president should go unchecked? What this administration has done is continually break the law in plain sight. The president and guiliani both publicly admitted that they had asked the Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son. Using the office of the president to go after a political foe is impeachable. Obstructing justice is impeachable. Remember, Mueller would have recommended charges of obstruction except for DOJ policy of not indicting a sitting president. Sorry, you may think this is proper for a sitting president but many Americans do not.
Another unaffiliated voter here…and you do mean re-open an investigation marred by corruption. You might not find as much opposition were it not that every single day of his presidency this president has had to deal with obstructionists. In fact, the only thing they’ve constructed are the stories attempting to discredit this president.
As for this, please allow me to refer you to a 2014 Time Magazine article. https://time.com/2964493/ukraine-joe-biden-son-hunter-burisma/
Ella. Please provide a detailed list of actual laws that have been “Broken in plain sight” especially the ones “continuously broken”. Also please show us where “Using the office of the president to go after a political foe” is a reason for impeachable.
Speaker Pelosi, and these politicians from the State of Connecticut, are clearly wed to their party ideals, and blinded by political dogma. They have ignored our Constitution, our Sovereignty as a Nation, and the Need to Protect and Defend our Borders. President Trump is not the problem, the problem is politicians who value party ideals, over the truth!
I took the time to read some of your previous posts, and felt you deserved a more pointed, direct response. First and foremost, I didn’t state these politicians succeeded in compromising our borders, sovereignty or power of the Constitution. What I was alluding to, is by their words and actions, they have supported positions that do so. Additionally, I am not saying President Trump’s is without warts. Also, I don’t have to like someone, to have them do a job for me. My only requirement, is they do the job well. I would suggest you execute a YouTube search for an early Oprah interview with the younger Mr. Trump. Oprah poses the question, “Would you ever consider becoming President?” His answer is very telling.
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