With former White House Counsel Don McGahn defying a subpoena for his testimony in Congress on the findings of the Muller Report, there was a noticeable jump on Tuesday in the halls of the Capitol in the number of Democrats publicly demanding that their leaders take the next step - to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
"The facts laid out in the Mueller report, coupled with this administration’s ongoing attempts to stonewall Congress, leave us no other choice,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). "It is time for Congress to officially launch an impeachment inquiry against the President of the United States."
"More of my colleagues are coming around, reluctantly, to the reality that impeachment is necessary, unavoidable, and urgent," said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA). "This week feels like the tipping point."
"I personally feel like we cannot tolerate this level of obstruction," said Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), as a number of new - and more liberal Democrats - embraced the idea of impeachment more publicly today.
"Failure to impeach now is neglect of due process," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
The findings detailed in the Special Counsel's report, and the Administration's pattern of wholesale obstruction of Congress since the report's release, make clear that it is time to open an impeachment inquiry.— Rep. Joe Neguse (@RepJoeNeguse) May 21, 2019
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
McGahn's no-show in front of @HouseJudiciary is the latest display of obstruction by Trump.— Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) May 21, 2019
Trump continues to disrespect the power of Congress, the rule of law, and our democracy. I strongly support @RashidaTlaib impeachment inquiry. #ImpeachmentInquiryNow
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.— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) May 21, 2019
This is a fight for our democracy.
Republicans said this was nothing more than political theater.
"Their single-minded goal is political revenge on someone who beat them in an election they thought they had won," said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).
"The American people don't want impeachment," said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). "But the Democrats are so angry that our President is succeeding and so desperate to please their base that they'll do it anyway."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned her rank-and-file away from impeachment for months, trying to keep the focus more on issues like health care.
But after weeks of watching the White House directly tell Congress that it has no power to investigate on a range of topics - from the President's tax returns, to his past financial records, and issues related to the Russia investigation - there is a sense in the Capitol of a building desire to start a more formal investigation into Mr. Trump.
"No one is above law. It's time to start an impeachment inquiry," said Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA).
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