August 1, 2019
Pressure is mounting for an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. On Thursday, four major progressive groups announced they will team up this month to use their collective force to press lawmakers to open formal proceedings.
The push coincides with new reports that the majority of House Democrats, 118 out of 235, now support impeachment. Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida moved the caucus over the midline when he announced his support on Thursday.
Activist groups Stand Up America, Indivisible, MoveOn, and 2020 hopeful Tom Steyer's Need to Impeach will coordinate to reach lawmakers during the August recess in an effort to influence holdouts and put pressure on party leadership, which has been reluctant to move on proceedings.
"As of this moment, impeachment is a majority position among House Democrats, meaning that lawmakers have finally caught up with Democrats nationwide," David Sievers, the campaign director of MoveOn, said in a statement.
To synchronize their supporters, the joint advocacy coalition launched a new website that will allow constituents to locate their representative's events and town halls, as well as provide details about how to contact and meet with members of Congress.
"This mass mobilization during August recess will ensure that every member of Congress hears from their constituents about why a formal impeachment inquiry is the only path forward to hold Donald Trump accountable for his crimes," Sean Eldridge, the president of Stand Up America, said.
In mid-July, the majority of House members prevented a vote on launching an inquiry. Yet support for impeachment has surged significantly in recent weeks following the testimony of Robert Mueller, which reaffirmed the special counsel's conclusion that the Trump campaign welcomed potential assistance from Russia in the 2016 election and pursued steps to hinder investigations into the matter.
Trump has long bemoaned the calls for his impeachment, arguing that Democrats have become blindly fixated on his removal. Over the weekend, Trump tweeted that the push to impeach was "sick & disgusting and bad for our Country."
New York Rep. Eliot Engel at a press conference to discuss election interference legislation in Congress just days before he announced his support for impeachment. (Photo Credit: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)
On Wednesday, New York Rep. Eliot Engel, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, announced his support for impeachment, saying "the President's repeated abuses have brought American democracy to a perilous crossroads."
"Following the guidance of the Constitution – which I have sworn to uphold – is the only way to achieve justice," said Engel.
Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, who chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee, also announced her support on Wednesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and her top deputies, however, appear to remain skeptical of impeachment and the potential backlash it could cause.
More Democrats on the Senate side also announced their support for an impeachment inquiry this week. Senator Patty Murray of Washington, who is the third highest ranking Democrat, and Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, the number four Democrat, announced their support on Monday.
"Robert Mueller confirmed what we already knew when we launched Need to Impeach in October 2017: Donald Trump long ago crossed the threshold for impeachment," said Nathaly Arriola, the executive director of Need to Impeach. "This August we will help our 8.3 million supporters mobilize as they urge their Member of Congress to uphold their constitutional duty and impeach this criminal President."
Ezra Levin, the co-executive director of Indivisible, added that "there is more than enough evidence for impeachment, and it's time for Democrats to do what is right."
Last week, the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, announced that it is considering impeachment as part of its investigation into obstruction, corruption, and abuse of power by the Trump administration.
And before leaving Washington for the August recess last week, Pelosi seemed to show some support for the committee's inquiry, adding, however, that "we will proceed when we have what we need to proceed, not one day sooner."
"If any other American obstructed justice as blatantly as Donald Trump, they'd be in jail," Eldridge added.