Arizona Congressman becomes 85th House Democrat to call for an impeachment inquiry into Trump

12 News / YouTube Rep Ruben Gallego calls for President 1562890473.jpg...
12 News / YouTube

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego took to the House floor Thursday to become the 85th House Democrat to call for the opening of an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.

“No president in the history of our country has ever been subject to as many credible allegations of illegal conduct as Donald Trump,” Gallego said. “Given the serious nature of these crimes, and the president’s refusal to cooperate with congressional investigations, it’s time for the House of Representatives to begin an impeachment inquiry.”

Gallego is one of three Arizona Democrats to call for such an inquiry, along with Rep. Raúl Grijalva and Rep. Greg Stanton. But he didn’t premise his impeachment call solely on Trump’s well-documented acts of obstruction of justice.

“We cannot lose sight of the much broader scope of Trump’s alleged wrongdoing,” Gallego said, “more than a dozen accusations of sexual assault, campaign-finance violations including hush money payments, illegal foreign contributions to the Trump inaugural committee, illegal misuse of the Trump Foundation charity for personal and political purposes, welcoming foreign interference in U.S. elections, mishandling top-secret information and abusing the security clearance process for his son-in-law.”

Gallego, a former Marine, added that he could not “stand by as Donald Trump erodes the rule of law and our democracy.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still stands firmly against impeachment. The pro-impeachment movement sometimes feels like it’s moving at snail’s pace, but the former Nixon-era counsel to the House Judiciary Committee penned an illuminating piece for the New York Times Thursday. Michael Conway reminds us that then-Democratic House Majority Leader, Tip O’Neill, waved off two early impeachment resolutions in the summers of ’72 and ’73 before finally embracing an inquiry after the late-October “Saturday Night Massacre.”

“Yet even then, the congressional vote to formally authorize the Judiciary Committee to investigate was delayed until February,” Conway writes, adding that the reluctance of House Democrats to impeach didn’t totally fade until early summer of 1974.

Though Conway is not bullish on the idea that Pelosi will relent, he writes that Democrats who favor an impeachment inquiry today can perhaps take solace in the fact that Watergate-era Democrats “ultimately united.” He concludes that either “unforeseen events, or a pro-impeachment surge in public opinion,” could perhaps change the course Pelosi has charted for her caucus.

The upcoming testimony of Robert Mueller next week might end up being a piece of that puzzle. But then again, if there’s one thing Trump specializes in, it’s unforeseen events.

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