After the Trump administration instructed former White House counsel Don McGahn to refuse to comply with a Judiciary Committee subpoena to testify, several members of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team privately confronted the Democratic leader late Monday and demanded impeachment proceedings against the president immediately in response to the latest attempt to stonewall congressional oversight.
According to the Washington Post, at least “five members of Pelosi’s leadership team—four of whom also sit on the House Judiciary Committee, with jurisdiction over impeachment—pressed Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a closed-door leadership meeting to allow the panel to start an [impeachment] inquiry, which they argued would help investigators attain documents and testimony that Trump has blocked.”
“There’s no doubt that opening an inquiry strengthens the hand of Congress in forcing compliance with subpoenas, whether it’s for documents or individuals.”
—Rep. David Cicilline
One of the lawmakers who reportedly pressed Pelosi to approve impeachment proceedings on Monday was House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who has faced calls to act as his repeated attempts to investigate President Donald Trump and administration officials have been brazenly denied by the White House.
“The meeting marks the first time a chairman and top rank-and-file lawmakers—including members of Pelosi’s leadership team—have lobbied her to change her long-held position on impeachment,” the Post reported.
If McGahn doesn’t show up for his scheduled testimony before the Judiciary Committee at 10:00am ET Tuesday, “a core group of Judiciary Democrats plans” to begin publicly calling for impeachment proceedings against Trump, according to the Post.
“That inquiry is also what happened during Watergate,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) told the Post in an interview following the Democrats’ private meeting. “It’s not like the House Judiciary Committee just dropped articles of impeachment. There was an investigation that preceded it. This inquiry could lead to impeachment, or it could lead to nothing. But I think if McGahn doesn’t show, we have to at least start it.”
Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin (Md.), Joe Neguse (Colo.), and David Cicilline (R.I.)—all of whom are members of the House Judiciary Committee—reportedly joined Lieu in pressuring the House Speaker to support an impeachment inquiry.
“There’s no doubt that opening an inquiry strengthens the hand of Congress in forcing compliance with subpoenas, whether it’s for documents or individuals,” Cicilline told the Post.
Raskin reportedly made a similar case during the meeting, arguing that impeachment hearings “would allow leadership to streamline and centralize all of the investigations into one—and let everyone else focus on the Democratic agenda items that won them the majority in 2018,” the Post reported.
Pelosi, however, refused to budge despite backlash from her own leadership team.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), DCCC chair Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), and Democratic caucus chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) all reportedly sided with Pelosi in the face of pressure from their colleagues as well as grassroots demands for Democrats to act on their grave warnings that the U.S. is in the midst of a “constitutional crisis.”
“This isn’t about politics at all. It’s about patriotism. It’s about the strength we need to have to see things through,” Pelosi reportedly said of her refusal to sign off on impeachment hearings, a remark that provoked bafflement among progressives on social media.
The internal Democratic rebellion against Pelosi on impeachment comes just days after Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) became the first congressional Republican to break with his party and call for impeachment proceedings against Trump after carefully examining Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings.
“Plenty of liberals are asking why there aren’t more Republican members of Congress with the guts, eloquence, or honesty to say what Amash has said,” The Intercept‘s Mehdi Hasan wrote in a column on Monday. “It’s a good question. But a better, more relevant question is this: Why aren’t there more Democrats willing to say the same?”
During a live event in Washington, D.C., Monday night, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)—a member of the House Judiciary Committee—made the case for launching impeachment proceedings against the president right away.
“I really believe we are now at the point where we have to start an impeachment inquiry. I don’t say that lightly, I mean I think we have taken every possible step we can,” said Jayapal. “We’ve issued subpoenas, we’ve called for witnesses, the president has issued blanket executive privilege over the Mueller report.”
“If you have a president who thinks he’s king, and isn’t accountable to anybody, and is above the law,” Jayapal said, “that is absolutely not acceptable.”
— Pod Save America (@PodSaveAmerica) May 20, 2019
Dick Cheney raising money for Trump’s re-election — with White House staffers Ivanka and Jared: report
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is raising money for President Donald Trump's re-election at a fundraiser in a ritzy western resort town.
"Former vice president Richard B. Cheney and his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), are to appear at a lunch fundraiser Monday in support of President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, according to an invitation to the event," The Washington Post reported Saturday. "The luncheon fundraiser in Jackson, Wyo., will feature White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, along with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as 'special guests,' according to the invitation, which was obtained by The Washington Post."
‘He believes he’s a king and a dictator’: Ex-GOP congressman backs impeaching ‘unfit conman’ Trump
President Donald Trump was blasted on MSNBC on Saturday by a former Republican congressman for being an "unfit conman."
Rev. Al Sharpton interviewed former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) about a recent New York Times op-ed he wrote calling for Trump to face a primary challenge from the right.
"There’s a strong case for President Trump to face a Republican primary challenger," Walsh wrote. "I know a thing or two about insurgencies. I entered Congress in 2011 as an insurgent Tea Party Republican."
Heather Heyer’s mom says things have gotten worse since Charlottesville — but she has a solution
CNN's Ana Cabrera on Saturday interviewed Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer. Her daughter was murdered by a white nationalist terrorist during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
"When you watch what’s happening in Portland, thankfully everything right now is peaceful, but does it sort of give you that knee-jerk reaction where your hackles kind of go up, just given everything your family has been through?" Cabrera asked.
"My hackles don’t really go down anymore," Bro replied. "I am constantly tracking these things around the country as they happen. Yeah, I think after two years ago, mine will never completely go down again."