At least 16 House Democrats are demanding to begin some form of action on impeachment.
President Donald Trump’s total refusal to honor any congressional document subpoenas, his total blockade on allowing current and former administration officials to testify – even when facing a congressional subpoena – and his ongoing campaign of retaliatory threats of intimidation are leading more and more House Democratic lawmakers to reach the same conclusion.
They are calling for action, demanding an impeachment inquiry to begin.
The Washington Post notes Trump’s White House “is blocking more than 20 Democratic investigations into Trump, his finances or his policies.”
During Monday night’s closed-door House Democratic leadership meeting, Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly remained firm in her opposition to impeaching the President.
“Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Joe Neguse of Colorado — all members of Democratic leadership — pushed to begin impeachment proceedings,” Politico reports.
“I think if this pattern by the president continues, where he’s going to impede and prevent and undermine our ability to gather evidence to do our job, we’re going to be left with no choice,” Rep. Cicilline said. “It’s a means where we can collect that information … We need to have the ability to gather the evidence.”
Politico adds that “in a Democratic Steering and Policy Committee meeting, Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee stood up and demanded Trump’s impeachment.”
And Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) also added to the calls for action.
“The president’s continuing lawless conduct is making it harder and harder to rule out impeachment or any other enforcement mechanism,” Nadler said. Reports say he is advocating fr an impeachment inquiry behind the scenes.
Also calling for action are House Ethics Committee Chairman Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO).
Reports are flooding in to Twitter, from lawmakers and reporters.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington:
We are now at the point where we must begin an impeachment inquiry. I don’t say that lightly. We’ve taken every step we can w/subpoenas and witnesses. Trump obstructs everything. A president who thinks he’s king, accountable to nobody & ,above the law is absolutely unacceptable. https://t.co/rrPua23lsF
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) May 21, 2019
Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas:
I personally feel like we cannot tolerate this level of obstruction, that if we do, then we have lowered the bar to the point where any criminal can be president of the United States and that should be unacceptable to all of us.
I believe we need to begin an impeachment inquiry.
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) May 21, 2019
Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin:
Stonewalling Congress on witnesses and the unredacted Mueller report only enhances the President’s appearance of guilt, and as a result, he has pushed Congress to a point where we must start an impeachment inquiry.
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) May 21, 2019
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York:
It is just as politicized a maneuver to not impeach in the face of overwhelming evidence as it is to impeach w/o cause.
Congress swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. That includes impeachment.
We have a duty to preserve our institutions + uphold the rule of law. https://t.co/oqguoDLUVC
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 21, 2019
CNN’s Manu Raju adds more names to the list:
Schiff has been skeptical of impeachment. I just asked him if he’s changing his tune. “The case gets stronger the more they stonewall.” https://t.co/pSY6BGMmdj
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 21, 2019
MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin on Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA):
House Intel’s Rep. Jackie Speier on CNN: “I believe that an inquiry into impeachment is required at this point in time.”
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 21, 2019
Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee: “The time has come to start an impeachment inquiry.” pic.twitter.com/d6C3Oq3u9K
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 21, 2019
Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) wants to go further:
JACKSON LEE says her resolution would allow the House to bless the Judiciary Committee investigation and note it would lead to impeachment if the facts warrant it. She says it’s not the same as an impeachment inquiry.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) May 21, 2019
An impeachment investigation is not impeachment, nor a vote for impeachment. But many believe televised hearings, similar to those that captivated the nation during Watergate, would help inform and ultimately convince the American public. A recent Reuters poll found 45% of Americans support impeachment, up five points in the last month. 42% are opposed.
‘The worst day of the presidency so far for Donald Trump’: Advisor to four presidents
President Donald Trump has not had a worse day in office than he suffered on Friday, according to a top former White House advisor.
David Gergen served in the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He was interviewed Friday night by CNN's Anderson Cooper.
"If you are looking to throw somebody under the bus, Gordon Sondland would probably be a prime candidate to be next in line to be thrown under the bus," Cooper said.
"I think the president will wait patiently to see what he says and then decide," Gergen replied.
He then offered his analysis of the situation.
Chris Hayes breaks down the ‘busy day in the criminal chronicles of one President Donald J. Trump’
MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes connected the dots between all of the bombshell news that was reported Friday in the impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump.
"Good God, today has been ten days and this week has been ten weeks," Hayes said. "And there are a million things happening at once."
"Just in the past couple of hours, for instance, we just got this incredibly incriminating and damning behind closed doors testimony from a U.S. foreign service officer that was still supposed to be kind of like the B-story today, the sideshow," he explained. "It's a guy who works in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, a guy named David Holmes. He testified behind closed doors that he could hear president Trump talking on the phone to the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union who was an inaugural donor, and they were in a restaurant in Kiev and the president was shouting so loudly on the phone that [Gordon] Sondland had to hold the phone away from his ear because it was hurting his eardrum, so then everyone could hear."
Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report
President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.
Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.