WASHINGTON — Colorado representatives are among U.S. House lawmakers pushing for an inquiry into impeaching President Donald Trump as congressional Democrats grow increasingly frustrated by his refusal to comply with their oversight demands.
On Tuesday, after Trump’s former White House counsel Don McGahn skipped a House Judiciary Committee hearing — defying a subpoena at the direction of the White House — Reps. Diana DeGette (D-1st) and Joe Neguse (D-2nd) both said it’s time to launch an impeachment inquiry.
“The facts laid out in the Mueller report, coupled with this administration’s ongoing attempts to stonewall Congress, leave us no other choice: It is time for Congress to officially launch an impeachment inquiry against the President of the United States,” DeGette wrote on Twitter.
An inquiry is a first step toward more formal impeachment proceedings.
“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,” Neguse wrote.
DeGette’s and Neguse’s comments came as other House Democrats who have been wary of impeachment also stepped up pressure to take that route following McGahn’s refusal to testify. One House Republican, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, has also called for Trump’s impeachment.
“For quite some time now, the administration has been engaged in a wholesale obstruction of Congress in terms of its ability to conduct oversight and conduct its investigatory work,” Neguse told The Colorado Independent in a brief interview on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
“Clearly the administration’s apparent declaration to a private citizen to not comply with a congressional subpoena and appear today, as Mr. McGahn was slated to do, I think was an inflection point for many people in the caucus, including me,” said Neguse, who serves on the Judiciary Committee.
House Democratic leaders were divided Monday at a closed-door meeting on whether to launch an impeachment inquiry against Trump, Politico reported.
“We have a big caucus with diverse viewpoints, so I suspect that members from across the ideological spectrum are going to make their case about what they think the appropriate next step will be,” Neguse said. “I’m certainly doing that and I imagine other people are doing that as well.”
Other Colorado Democrats stopped short of directly calling for an impeachment inquiry, but said that it must remain an available option.
“The level of obstruction and lawlessness coming from the White House is deeply concerning and beyond compare,” Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-7th) said in a statement.
“Congress has a constitutional right and responsibility to hold the executive branch accountable and should be able to carry out its investigatory work without interference,” he added.
Rep. Jason Crow (D-6th) said, “In stonewalling Congress, the President is making his own case for a stronger response. We must consider all options to ensure Congress is responding to this assault on our rule of law and restoring power to the American people.”
But House Republicans have rallied behind the president, and have decried impeachment talk as a political charade.
Rep. Doug Lamborn (D-5th) told The Independent in an interview earlier this month that after the release of the redacted Mueller report, “the big questions have been answered. … I think that that should settle things and we should move on for the American people.”
He said discussions about impeachment are “viewed as a political ploy at this point, especially since the Mueller report came out with its findings.”