Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
- Between 2017 and now, 72 members of the House of Representatives have come out in favor of beginning an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
- Currently, those members make up almost a third of the Democratic caucus and include multiple members of the House Judiciary Committee.
- Dozens of members came out in favor of impeachment after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, and their ranks grew after the White House ordered former staffers to defy congressional subpoenas.
- Here are the Democratic members who have come out in support of an impeachment inquiry as of June 20, 2019.
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The number of Democrats in the House of Representatives who want to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump is increasing every day, with 71 House Democrats and one Republican either voting for articles of impeachment last year or supporting an impeachment inquiry now.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan first introduced a resolution in favor of impeachment in late March with just a few cosponsors, but the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report from his nearly two-year-long investigation and its aftermath have increased the appetite for impeaching Trump.
The report did not come to a "traditional prosecutorial decision" as to whether Trump obstructed the Mueller probe and other federal investigations involving him, but laid out 11 possible incidents of obstruction, including Trump firing James Comey and his attempts to fire Mueller himself.
In a public statement Mueller made it explicitly clear that the report did not exonerate Trump, and that his office had no ability to charge Trump with a crime because of existing Department of Justice policy prohibiting prosecutors from indicting a sitting president — leaving the next steps up to Congress.
Even since the Mueller report came out, the White House’s stonewalling of congressional investigations has drummed up support for impeachment even further.
In May and June, the White House cited executive privilege to order former White House counsel Don McGahn, his chief of Annie Donaldson, and former White House communications director Hope Hicks — all key witnesses and participants in events described in the Mueller report — to defy congressional subpoenas from the House Judiciary Committee.
And still more members spoke up in favor of impeachment after Trump stunned both Congress and the country by admitting in an interview with ABC that he would consider accepting campaign help from foreign governments — which is against federal campaign finance law — and that he wouldn’t alert the FBI.
"Oh, I think I’d want to hear it," Trump said. "It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it."
Despite the growing fervor for impeachment among the Democratic caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler have held off on supporting an impeachment inquiry. Pelosi has argued the process could severely divide the country and play into Trump’s hands by allowing him to cast himself as a victim ahead of the 2020 election.
Democratic leaders are also acutely aware that an impeachment inquiry could seriously jeopardize the re-election prospects for Democrats who represent swing or Republican-leaning districts, many of whom flipped districts won by Trump in 2016.
Almost all of the House Democrats who have spoken out in favor of impeachment represent safely Democratic districts, according to an analysis from the Washington Post. Just three House Democrats who support impeachment — Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, Sean Casten of Illinois, and Katie Porter from California — represent Republican-leaning districts that flipped from GOP to Democratic control last year.
Other Democrats argue that not only is impeachment a moral imperative and a constitutional obligation, but holding hearings exposing Trump’s conduct and bringing more of the 448-page Mueller report’s findings into the public eye could turn public opinion against him even further.
Karine Jean-Pierre, chief public affairs officer for the liberal group MoveOn, argued in a recent op-ed for Newsweek that "Democratic leaders may think that by avoiding the question of impeachment they’re protecting themselves. But the truth is, by ignoring their base and allowing Republicans to get away with an election tainted with foreign interference, they’re risking more politically than they’re gaining."
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