More Than 160 House Democrats Now Support Impeachment Proceedings Against Trump

September 24, 2019, 6:15 PM UTC

With Rep. John Lewis’ support, there are now more than 160 House Democrats who have expressed support for initiating impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has thus far been reluctant to support impeachment, citing, among other reasons, a need to protect vulnerable Democrats. But the tides appear to be turning.

On Monday night, seven moderate freshman Democrats representing districts that had been held by Republicans prior to the 2018 midterms penned an op-ed in The Washington Post adding their names to the growing list.

These Democrats, Reps. Gil Cisneros, Jason Crow, Chrissy Houlahan, Elaine Luria, Mikie Sherrill, Elissa Slotkin, and Abigail Spanberger, had previously been among the “vulnerable” Democrats who had withheld their names.

Citing “unprecedented allegations against President Trump,” the lawmakers note that if they’re true, they believe such actions “represent an impeachable offense.”

“These new allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect,” they continue. “We must preserve the checks and balances envisioned by the Founders and restore the trust of the American people in our government. And that is what we intend to do.”

Just after noon on Tuesday, civil rights icon Lewis dropped his own resistance to impeachment. Speaking on the House floor, Lewis said, “I have been patient while we tried every other path and used every other tool.” Calling for an “official investigation as dictated by the Constitution,” he added, “the future of our democracy is at stake.” 

On Twitter, Lewis went further, saying, “I truly believe the time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come. To do otherwise would betray the foundations of our democracy.”

More than a dozen House Democrats have added their support in the past week alone, bringing the number up to two-thirds of the caucus—including more than half of the 44 “frontline” Democrats, otherwise known as those considered to be the most vulnerable incumbents in 2020, as well as Pelosi allies, such as Reps. Debbie Dingell and Rosa DeLauro. The number is expected to continue to rise.

Should Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire fail to hand over the whistleblower complaint at Thursday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing, other Democrats may join the call for impeachment, bringing the total ever closer to the 218 votes needed to move forward.

This means that Pelosi’s own calculation may be changing. Speaking to CNN on Monday, Pelosi conceded that the party will eventually “have no choice,” noting that this will “be a big week.” She is expected to speak to House Democrats Tuesday afternoon and make a public statement.

While the Ukraine issue could prove to be the tipping point, it remains to be seen what an impeachment process would actually look like. But this week’s growing momentum suggests that we might soon find out.

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