Why one Virginia congressional member thinks President Trump should be impeached

Posted at 7:16 AM, May 31, 2019

WASHINGTON – There are 43 House Democrats that believe that President Donald Trump should be impeached, and one from Virginia is among them.

Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia’s 8th Congressional District announced his support for starting an impeachment inquiry in a statement last week.

“The time has come for the House of Representatives to open an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Trump,” Beyer said. “Endorsing such a course is not easy, and I do not do so lightly, but I believe that the President has left Congress no other option but to pursue it.”

Beyer has been serving Virginia in the US House of Representatives since 2015.

The 68-year-old also made headlines recently when he became the first congressional member to back Pete Buttigieg — Mayor of South Bend, Indiana — for President of the United States.

As President Donald Trump has been openly feuding with House Democrats pursuing investigations into him, his administration and his finances, some lawmakers are calling to start an impeachment inquiry, the first step in a lengthy and likely divisive process.

Those calls grew louder Wednesday, though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler are resisting the pressure to open an impeachment inquiry after special counsel Robert Mueller announced that he’s closing his office and wouldn’t provide any information beyond his already-released report in any appearance before Congress.

Impeachment appears politically risky for Democrats for many reasons, not least of which is that even if the House could get a majority to support impeachment, it likely would go nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate. That said, that calculation is not stopping some Democrats from pushing for the maneuver, particularly following a series of efforts by Trump and his White House not to comply with the requests of the House investigations.

While there are varying degrees of how far critics of the President are willing to push the process, one relatively basic litmus test is whether lawmakers would support starting an impeachment inquiry, the first significant step in the process.

By CNN’s count, there are at least 43 House Democrats who’ve made public comments advocating at least for starting the impeachment inquiry process — while some have gone further.

On the Republican side, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan has also called for impeachment proceedings, bringing the total number of representatives to 44.

Currently, seven of the 11 House congressional members from Virginia are Democrats.

Beyer’s district is comprised of Arlington County, portions of Fairfax County and all of the independent cities of Alexandria and Falls Church.

A list of House Democrats calling for President Trump’s impeachment:

1. Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island

In advance of former White House counsel Don McGahn declining to show up for the House Judiciary Committee last week, Cicilline said the “time has come” for an impeachment inquiry.

“The White House and the President have attempted to impede our ability to get to the truth … we have a responsibility at some point to open up an inquiry if this kind of obstruction, interference and stonewalling continues,” Cicilline told reporters.

2. Rep. Ted Lieu of California

Lieu spoke on CNN last week and said that while he didn’t support full impeachment, he was among those Democrats supporting starting an impeachment inquiry.

“Let me just be very clear,” Lieu told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Democrats are not saying impeachment. What I’m saying and what some others are saying is an impeachment inquiry, which is, we have to start these investigations to see if we should do impeachment.”

When Blitzer followed to clarify if Lieu supported “beginning impeachment procedures” but not full impeachment, Lieu responded “That is correct. Because we need to build a record in these committees.”

3. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington

Jayapal spoke on CNN last week and tweeted, “I joined @wolfblitzer to discuss how @HouseJudiciary will hold this President and his administration accountable. Judge Mehta’s decision was important – but we still have to do our jobs and uphold the Constitution. For me, that means pursuing an impeachment inquiry.”

4. Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas

Escobar was among lawmakers who pushed last week for Pelosi and Nadler to take a more aggressive stance than they’re currently taking and start an impeachment inquiry.

She also tweeted, “I believe we need to begin an impeachment inquiry.”

5. Rep. Val Demings of Florida

Demings told CNN last week that the evidence contained in the Mueller report was sufficient for Democrats to take the next, fateful step.

“I believe it’s pretty clear that the President made numerous attempts to obstruct justice or obstructed justice,” Demings, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”

“And so I believe, based on that information, as I did a month ago, that we have enough to begin those proceedings.”

6. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas

Jackson Lee, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told reporters last week that she planned to introduce “a resolution of investigation” that will call on the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether there is “sufficient grounds” to move forward with impeachment.

7. Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky

Yarmuth, who is chairman of the House Budget Committee, told reporters last week, “I think it’s time” to begin the proceedings. On CNN, he said he’s not alone.

“I think what we have, John, is we have a situation in which I think a growing majority of our caucus believes that impeachment is going to be inevitable,” Yarmuth told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day”last week. “But they also believe that we need to pursue the investigations that are going on to make sure that certain conduct of the administration and the President that they need to be held accountable for is discovered.”

8. Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee

Cohen, who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, has long been a proponent of impeachment and introduced articles of impeachment against Trump in November 2017.

“The time has come to make clear to the American people and to this President that his train of injuries to our Constitution must be brought to an end through impeachment,” Cohen said in a statement at the time. “I believe there is evidence that he attempted to obstruct an investigation into Russia’s interference with the U.S. presidential election and links between between Russia and the Trump campaign, most notably the firing of FBI Director James Comey. ”

9. Rep. Al Green of Texas

Green was the first House Democrat to formally seek Trump’s impeachment from the House floor in comments he made in May 2017.

“This is about my position. This is about what I believe. And this is where I stand. I will not be moved. The President must be impeached,” Green said at the time. “For those who do not know, impeachment does not mean that the President would be found guilty. It simply means that the House of Representatives will bring charges against the President. It’s similar to an indictment but not quite the same thing.”

10. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York

In a series of tweets, Ocasio-Cortez said that she will be signing on to an impeachment resolution led by fellow freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, following the release of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report last month.

“Mueller’s report is clear in pointing to Congress’ responsibility in investigating obstruction of justice by the President. It is our job as outlined in Article 1, Sec 2, Clause 5 of the US Constitution. As such, I’ll be signing onto @RashidaTlaib’s impeachment resolution,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on April 18.

11. Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas

Castro, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN last week that it’s time to begin an impeachment inquiry immediately given the White House stonewalling of Congress’ oversight.

12. Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia

Beyer announced his support for starting an impeachment inquiry in a statement last week.

“The time has come for the House of Representatives to open an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Trump,” Beyer said. “Endorsing such a course is not easy, and I do not do so lightly, but I believe that the President has left Congress no other option but to pursue it.

13. Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado

Neguse tweeted last week “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.”

14. Rep. Jackie Speier of California

Speier told CNN’s “New Day” last week that she supported starting the impeachment inquiry process.

“I believe that an inquiry into impeachment is required at this time,” Speier said.

15. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland

Raskin, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, was among the Democrats who asked Pelosi at a meeting last week about pursuing an impeachment inquiry.

Raskin told CNN the following day, “I would totally support opening an impeachment inquiry at this point.”

16. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania

Scanlon, a member of the Judiciary Committee, tweeted last week that she supported an impeachment inquiry after a text message conversation with her son.

17. Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado

DeGette released a statement backing an impeachment investigation in April.

“The Mueller report details many instances in which President Trump actively attempted to interfere with the investigation into his campaign’s potentially treasonous ties with Russia,” she stated. “The president’s actions are clearly beneath the high personal, ethical and legal standards our founders envisioned in the executive branch, and, as such, constitute a prima facie case to trigger an impeachment investigation.”

18. Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin

Pocan released a statement supporting starting an impeachment inquiry last week.

“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,” Pocan said.

19. Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon

Blumenauer released a statement earlier this monthbacking the start of an impeachment inquiry.

“The Mueller investigation was limited in its capacity to take action and draw conclusions due to Justice Department guidelines,” he wrote. “Yet, it was a treasure trove of information that deserves further investigation, which should be done in the House—the only chamber willing to hold this president accountable. For that reason, I am joining Congresswoman Tlaib in calling for the Judiciary Committee to carry out a formal investigation regarding potential impeachable offenses by Donald Trump.”

20. Rep. Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania

Dean, a member of the Judiciary Committee, told CNN in an interview last week that she supported starting an impeachment inquiry.

“We can’t just constantly put out lawful subpoena, try to do our constitutional oversight, be stonewalled by an administration that’s just simply trying to cover up bad behaviors, and not change course,” Dean said. “And so what we’ve been trying to do is investigative oversight. I believe at the point you have Barr fail to come forward and produce documents, you have McGahn fail to produce documents and come forward, enough’s enough. It’s time to begin an investigation, an inquiry, as to impeachment.”

21. Rep. Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania

Evans has long openly supported steps toward impeachment since Trump’s first year he was in office. In December 2017, he released a statement explaining his vote to not to table a House resolution calling for impeachment.

“After being in Congress for over a year and observing President Trump’s questionable actions I strongly believe there should at least be a discussion about whether or not President Trump’s actions met the bar of impeachment,” Evans stated.

In February 2018, Evans was co-host of an event on the “Party to Impeach” tour with billionaire Tom Steyer, who has long publicly advocated impeaching Trump.

“The President is not above the Constitution,” Evans told Philly magazine at the time. “He needs to be held accountable. My constituents have raised serious concerns about the President’s actions.”

22. Rep. Jared Huffman of California

Huffman signed on to efforts to start impeachment proceedings inDecember 2017.

“Impeachment is an extraordinary measure, but it should be clear to anyone who examines the facts that President Trump’s actions justify his impeachment, including his efforts to obstruct justice, his self-enrichment and serial violations of the Emoluments Clause, and his involvement in a cover-up stemming from his campaign’s very likely collusion with Russian interests to undermine the 2016 presidential election,” Huffman said in a statement at the time.

23. Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts

Moulton, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president, said last month that he supported moving forward with impeachment proceedings.

“I voted on this a over a year ago, and I said that proceedings should move forward,” he told reporters at a campaign stop on April 23 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Moulton was careful to note “it’s not the right time to vote on impeachment, because we don’t have all the facts in, we don’t even have the full version of the Mueller report, but we absolutely should move forward on the proceedings, so we can have this debate in Congress, and frankly I think it’s long overdue.”

24. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota

Omar has called for some form of impeachment proceedings against Trump since before she was sworn in to Congress in January.

“We know that this President, this administration every day has gone a little bit closer to being impeached. … We won’t be having these conversations on whether to do it, but it’s going to be when and how,” Omar told CNN in December.

More recently she’s signed petitions to start impeachment proceedings, as well as signing on to Tlaib’s impeachment resolution in April.

25. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts

Pressley was among those lawmakers who signed on to Tlaib’s impeachment resolution following the release of the redacted Mueller report.

“That resolution will come before a vote before the Congress and it asks that, dependent on that vote, that we follow up procedurally in committee,” Pressley told Boston Public Radio on April 19. “I mean here’s the thing — I have felt for a long time that this administration has lost all moral authority and there are many impeachable offenses.”

26. Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York

Rice tweeted last week that Congress should start impeachment proceedings.

“For over two years the President has systematically dismantled our democracy and defied the rule of law. This cannot stand,” she tweeted. “Congress has a moral obligation to put our politics aside and take action. We need to start impeachment proceedings.”

27. Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan

On the night of her swearing in in Congress, Tlaib made headlines where she told a crowd “we’re going to impeach the motherf****r.”She’s since authored her own resolution to start impeachment proceedings.

28. Rep. Filemon Vela of Texas

Vela tweeted in August 2018 that “We must impeach crooked Donnie,” following news of a guilty verdict for Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Vela also signed on to Tlaib’s impeachment resolution on April 30.

29. Rep. Maxine Waters of California

Waters, the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, has long called for starting the process of impeachment for the President.

“When are the people of this country going to wake up to the fact that this president is a disgusting liar, documented to have lied over 8,000 times in 2 yrs? Add to that his recent, blatant lies on our nation’s intel chiefs’ testimony in the US Senate. Past time for impeachment!” she tweeted in January.

30. Rep. Brad Sherman of California

Sherman was among the earliest advocates for impeachment, signing on to a resolution with Green in July 2017.

“Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr. indicate that Trump’s campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia,” Sherman said in a statementat the time. “It now seems likely that the President had something to hide when he tried to curtail the investigation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the wider Russian probe. I believe his conversations with, and subsequent firing of, FBI Director James Comey constitute Obstruction of Justice.”

31. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon

Bonamici released a statementlast week supporting the start of an impeachment inquiry.

“I am gravely concerned about the actions of President Trump and the growing evidence of possible impeachable offenses, including obstruction of justice, committing human rights violations by separating children from their families, and profiting from the presidency,” Bonamici said in the statement. “I’ve said before that impeachment should be an option, but we must approach it deliberately. The time has come.”

32. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio

Fudge has long been a supporter of starting impeachment proceedings against Trump. In November 2017, she joined Cohen’s introduction of articles of impeachment.

“In the nearly 300 days since he was sworn in, it has become evident that President Trump is a clear and present danger to our democracy. It is high time that Congress take a serious look at the President’s actions,” Fudge said in a statement from Cohen’s office. “If those actions are found to be in violation of the Constitution, then the Congress of the United States needs to do the job the American people elected us to do.”

33. Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin

Moore has long said she supports starting impeachment proceedings, telling local reportersin her home district in August 2017, “Yeah, I think so. I think I’m there,” when asked by WISN-12 if she wanted to see Trump impeached.

She also tweeted in August 2017, “My Republican friends, I implore you to work w/ us within our capacity as elected officials to remove @realDonaldTrump as #POTUS. #Impeach45”.

More recently, she tweeted in February that Trump declaring a national emergency to start construction on a border wall would be “grounds for impeachment,”a step Trump later took.

34. Rep. Norma Torres of California

Torres told The Washington Post in Aprilthat “I think there is enough evidence in front of us to move forward” on impeachment proceedings and that “if it came up for a vote today, I would vote to impeach this president.”

In a story headlined “How the Mueller report convinced this House Democrat that Trump should be impeached,” Torres said that Congress and Trump are at a “stalemate” and not able to focus on the issues.

“This president took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution, and he’s violated that,” Torres told the Post. “He’s violated the spirit of the law. We need to hold him accountable.”

35. Rep. Juan Vargas of California

Vargas told the NBC affiliate in San Diego last month that “the reality is he broke the law and he should be impeached.”

36. Rep. Danny Davis of Illinois

Davis said in a statement Tuesday, before Mueller’s remarks: “I believe it is time and imperative that the United States House of Representatives begin an impeachment inquiry whether the House of Representatives should impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America. To that end I will be requesting that my name be added as a co-sponsor of H. Res. 257. It is my hope that the House will move forward in as unified and non-partisan manner as possible but will not be dissuaded by purely political opposition.”

37. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi

Thompson, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, posted on Facebook after Mueller’s remarks Wednesday, “I support impeachment. The President has egregiously obstructed justice.” His statement also cited Mueller’s comment that “If we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

38. Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts

McGovern, chairman of the House Rules Committee, said on Boston radio station WGBH’s podcast Wednesday that he believed it was time to begin an impeachment inquiry: “I believe, quite frankly, that the next step is for the House Judiciary Committee to open an inquiry to formally begin considering whether impeachment is warranted. I think we’re at that point, and I think that to me seems like a logical way to proceed.” He noted that he had backed an impeachment inquiry when the House voted on it in 2017, but said he hadn’t been vocal about doing so in the current Congress until now.

39. Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey

Malinowski explained to the New Jersey Star-Ledger why he supports moving forward with impeachment proceedings:

“Nobody knows what the political impact will be, and therefore it is a risk. But when in doubt, it’s probably best to do the right thing.”

40. Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York

Espaillat explained to CNN’s Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto why he favors impeachment, saying he felt the threshold for impeachment was met “some time” ago over the emoluments issue.

“We must, as duly elected members of Congress, exercise our duties entrusted by the Constitution of the United States,” he said Thursday, the day after Mueller’s public remarks.

41. Rep. Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania

In an interview Thursday with CNN’s Kate Bolduan, Boyle said he’s ready to start holding impeachment hearings.

“Given that the special counsel is now officially concluded and is now resigning, I believe that the ball is clearly in our court,” he said. “I’ve called not for a rush to vote on impeachment but the official beginning of impeachment hearings, so that way we can go through what’s in the report. We can further investigate where the report didn’t go.”

42. Rep. Greg Stanton of Arizona

Stanton, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement Thursday: “It is time for the House of Representatives to move to the next stages of holding the President accountable, including the extraordinary step of opening an impeachment inquiry.”

Stanton said, “This is a conclusion I reached only recently, and not one I reached lightly.”

43. Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois

Quigley, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC on Thursday that he is calling for impeachment proceedings to begin against Trump.

“I notified the speaker’s office today … now asking that we open an inquiry,” he said.