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All 7 Democratic Washington congressmembers support impeachment inquiry

KING-TV Seattle logo KING-TV Seattle 7/29/2019 KING 5 Staff
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All seven U.S. House Democrats from Washington have now called for an impeachment inquiry.

Reps. Suzan DelBene (District 1), Derek Kilmer (District 6), Kim Schrier (District 8), and Denny Heck (District 10) said Sunday they supported an impeachment inquiry, citing special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections as grounds.

During congressional testimony last week Mueller dismissed President Donald Trump’s claims of exoneration from his probe but maintained his investigation didn’t determine whether the president committed a crime.

DelBene said in a statement that after reading Mueller’s report she came to the conclusion that Trump has taken “virtually no action” to prevent election meddling in addition to ignoring congressional subpoenas and instructing staffers to not cooperate with ongoing investigations.

“With every act of defiance, he continues to disgrace his office and violate the checks and balances that are the foundation of the Constitution,” DelBene said.

Kilmer called the incidents of obstruction of justice documented in Mueller’s report “too serious to be dismissed,” including interactions with former FBI Director James Comey and efforts to limit the scope of Mueller’s probe.

Heck said he concluded from Mueller’s report that Trump “encouraged, welcomed, and benefited” from election meddling and accused the president of engaging in “an aggressive and active cover-up” of efforts to discover facts.

Schrier echoed concerns about obstruction of justice and said she hoped an impeachment inquiry would elicit more answers about whether Trump was acting in the best interest of the country.

“If I had done any one of the things that our president has done to obstruct justice or act against the interest of this country, I would be in jail,” Schrier said.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (District 7) was the first Washington congressmember to call for an impeachment inquiry back in May. The Seattle Times reports Rep. Adam Smith was next to call for an inquiry in June, and Rep. Rick Larsen (District 2) called to impeach Trump earlier this month.

There are 105 U.S. representatives who support an impeachment inquiry, according to a tracker from The New York Times.

An impeachment inquiry does not start the impeachment process. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must authorize an inquiry to start an investigation, which she has not done.

As the House recessed for a six-week summer break Friday, Democrats did not appear any closer to opening impeachment proceedings.

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