May 22, 2019
Following former White House counsel Don McGahn’s failure to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on May 21, Congressional Democratic leaders said they had worn out their patience—and that President Donald Trump had exhausted his options for stonewalling legislators.
Outraged over White House obstruction of their investigative efforts, House Democrats began urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) to address the looming Constitutional crisis by launching impeachment proceedings immediately.
“We are confronting what might be the largest, broadest cover-up in American history,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters. If a House inquiry “leads to other avenues, including impeachment,” the Maryland Democrat said, “so be it,” according to a report by Stars and Stripes.
Representatives Joaquin Castro of Texas and Diana DeGette of Colorado added their voices to the chorus. “It’s time for Congress to open an impeachment inquiry. There is political risk in doing so, but there’s a greater risk to our country in doing nothing,” Castro said on Twitter. “This is a fight for our democracy.”
Indeed, according to a report by The Hill, all told, at least 25 Democrats are now on record supporting the start of proceedings to oust Trump. That list includes several committee chairs and members of the Speaker’s own leadership team.
While Pelosi had hoped for a slower, more orderly process, she recognizes that starting an inquiry may be the only way for House Democrats to obtain the documentation and testimony on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and obstruction of justice by the administration.
In a sign that she may be reaching her tipping point, Pelosi invited some members of the House Democratic Caucus to a meeting on Wednesday, May 22, to assess strategy, Stars and Stripes reported.
“This isn’t about politics, it’s not about passion, it’s not about prejudice,” she said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday. “It’s about patriotism and it’s about the presentation of the facts, so that the American people can see why we’re going down a certain path.”
Research contact: @starsandstripes