State’s 7 Dems in Congress now back impeachment proceedings

Rep. Suzan DelBene joins Larsen and Jayapal who previously announced support for an inquiry.

  • By Wire Service and Herald staff
  • Tuesday, July 30, 2019 7:41am
  • Local News

Herald news services

OLYMPIA — All seven of Washington’s Democratic U.S. House members are now calling for an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

The Seattle Times reports that Reps. Kim Schrier, Suzan DelBene, Derek Kilmer, and Denny Heck on Sunday cited corruption, obstruction of justice and failure to protect elections from foreign interference as justifications for an impeachment inquiry, which would be a first step in a lengthy process.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray also voiced support for an inquiry.

Murray, in a statement, said as Congress has learned more “about the gravity of the potential threats to our democracy identified in Special Counsel (Robert) Mueller’s report, it has become clear the House should begin proceedings to determine whether the president’s actions necessitate impeachment.”

In May, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, of Seattle, was the first House member from Washington to call for an impeachment inquiry. Rep. Adam Smith joined Jayapal in June, citing obstruction of justice and efforts to undermine Congress. Rep. Rick Larsen added his support earlier this month.

Larsen, of Everett, said July 18 that the president’s verbal attacks on four congresswomen show he does not respect what it means to be an American and no longer deserves to be the nation’s leader.

“It does not make me happy to conclude that about any president,” Larsen said in an interview with The Daily Herald.

Larsen’s announcement came two days after the Democratic-led House of Representatives condemned Trump for tweets and public statements about a quartet of first-term Democrats who’ve been among his sharpest critics, saying the women should “go back” to where they came from. All are U.S. citizens, and three were born in this country.

“He doesn’t respect U.S. citizenship,” said Larsen, a moderate who is in his 10th term representing the 2nd Congressional District. “He doesn’t respect the dream that U.S. citizenship represents around the world. If you can’t respect that, you don’t deserve to be president of the United States.”

DelBene, of Medina, also represents a wide swath of Snohomish County.

“This decision has weighed heavily on my mind as I have tried to determine the best course of action to take for our country,” she said in a written statement. “I read the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Russian interference in our 2016 election, and I watched his testimony in front of Congress. The notion that a sitting President would attempt to derail an investigation of a direct attack on our democracy is shocking, unpatriotic, and a violation of the oath we share. The President has taken virtually no action to try to prevent Russia or other foreign powers from meddling in our free and fair elections in the future.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that the House would decide whether to begin impeachment proceedings “when we have a best strongest possible case” and that such a decision “will be made in a timely fashion.”

Kilmer said that testimony amplified evidence laid out in the Mueller report, prompting him to change his position on impeachment. He is most troubled by evidence that the president has sought to obstruct justice.

“Obstructing justice and accepting assistance from foreign governments simply cannot be a standard that we accept,” Kilmer said in a statement.

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