A week after special counsel Robert Mueller laid out evidence of potential crimes, House Democrats pass a key impeachment threshold.
The drumbeat for impeachment got louder Thursday when Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) announced his support for starting an inquiry — the first step to impeaching Trump.
Deutch is the 118th House Democrat to publicly call for an inquiry, meaning a majority of the 235 House Democrats — as well as Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican-turned-independent — now support such a move, Politico reported Thursday.
At the end of May, fewer than 50 House Democrats were ready to open an inquiry. But that number has more than doubled in the last 10 weeks, with many coming forward after special counsel Robert Mueller spent a day testifying last week about Trump's potential criminal activity before two House committees.
"Although Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony may not have been a summer blockbuster, it confirmed the damning conclusions of his report," Deutch wrote in an op-ed on Thursday. "The investigation revealed substantial evidence that President Trump obstructed justice."
In one instance, Trump ordered Don McGahn, the top lawyer at the White House, to fire Mueller and end the investigation into Trump. When McGahn refused, Trump ordered McGahn to create false records saying Trump never made such a demand.
During Mueller's testimony, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) asked about the criteria for obstruction of justice, and about how Trump's actions met each of the criteria. Mueller confirmed that Trump did, indeed, meet each of the criteria.
"Donald Trump repeatedly attempted to obstruct the federal investigation," Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said in a statement following Mueller's testimony. "I believe it is time for Congress to open an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump."
"We have a sacred duty as members of Congress to ensure that nobody is above the law," she added. "To do nothing given what we know is unacceptable."
Trump had epic meltdowns when the Mueller report was released and on the day of Mueller's congressional testimony. It is hard to imagine him calmly accepting the fact that most House Democrats want to formally open an impeachment inquiry into his alleged crimes.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.