Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) ) called for impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump to begin in a fiery speech on the House floor, signaling a groundswell of new support for impeachment from previously reluctant Democrats. Lewis’s speech comes amid disbelief at Trump’s denials that he used U.S. aid as leverage in an attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political opponent.
Said Lewis: “There comes a time when you have to be moved by the spirit of history to take action to protect and preserve the integrity of our nation. I believe, I truly believe, the time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come. We must not wait! … To delay or to do otherwise would betray the foundation of our democracy.”
The NYT reports: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, who has stubbornly resisted a rush to impeachment, appeared to be rapidly changing course, as lawmakers from every corner of her caucus lined up in favor of filing formal charges against Mr. Trump if the allegations are proven true, or if his administration continues to stonewall attempts by Congress to investigate them.”
Trump’s explanation of a whistleblower complaint that he pressured Ukraine’s leader to investigate Joe Biden has shifted markedly over the past 48 hours.
Raw Story reports: ‘The president also trotted out a brand-new justification for his decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine just days before his now-infamous call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as he now says he wanted to withhold that aid until Europe agreed to help out the country more. Just one day earlier, the president said that he was willing to withhold aid to Ukraine to make sure the government takes corruption seriously, even as he claimed that the supposed “corruption” in the country directly implicates former Vice President Joe Biden.’
156 House Democrats back an impeachment inquiry as of this posting.
Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats are privately discussing the creation of a select committee, the Washington Post reports: “The California Democrat has spoken to key allies in recent days about establishing a special panel rather than leaving the task with the House Judiciary Committee, said several Democratic officials. Nothing has been decided, the individuals cautioned, but some members are expected to publicly endorse the move soon. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe private deliberations. Pelosi’s office declined to comment on the matter.”