WASHINGTON – Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) issued the following statement after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Tuesday announced the House of Representatives is opening a formal impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump:
“I commend Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats for opening a formal impeachment inquiry that will lay out for the American people whether Donald Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
“Here’s what we know:
“He obstructed justice as detailed in the Mueller Report.
“He has been named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a campaign finance crime.
“He has been receiving money in violation of the Constitution from foreign governments.
“He pressured a foreign government to investigate his political rival — and he may even have threatened to withhold congressionally allocated aid money destined for that country to fight Russian aggression.
“He has stonewalled every effort by Congress to do its job of oversight and investigation, by directing witnesses not to testify in front of Congress, refusing to turn over documents, and asserting privileges that don’t exist.
“From Day 1 of his presidency, Donald Trump has been motivated by two things: protecting himself and making money. Speaker Pelosi is right to hold this dangerous chief executive accountable.”
Hirono first called for the opening of an impeachment inquiry on May 29, following Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s press conference at the U.S. Department of Justice outlining the conclusions of his two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with those efforts.
The whistleblower claim alleged that Trump attempted to coerce Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s family. Per reports from The Washington Post and New York Times, in the days before this conversation, Trump ordered Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to freeze $391 million in congressionally approved aid to Ukraine.
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) said in a statement:
“In August, I called on Congress to move forward with formal impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. That call has become even more urgent following reports that the president attempted to pressure Ukraine’s leader into investigating an American political opponent by withholding U.S. military aid.
“The president and his administration are acting further in contravention of the law by preventing the director of national intelligence from issuing a mandatory report to Congress on the whistleblower complaint made against the president – preventing Congress once again from fulfilling its constitutional oversight role and investigating possible wrongdoing. Congress must see the whistleblower’s complaint first-hand.
“The president’s actions represent an egregious abuse of power and they serve as a textbook definition of corruption with the intent to undermine our democratic process. Soliciting interference in our elections by a foreign power is unlawful and un-American.
“As I have said before, under our system of checks and balances, Congress has a duty to use the powers granted by our founders to seek remedy and restore the people’s faith in our government. No person is above the law, and that includes the person who holds the highest office in the land. The path forward for Congress is clear; President Trump must be impeached.”
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) issued the following statement:
“The foundation of American life begins and ends with the rule of law, and those who take an oath to uphold the Constitution have a sacred duty to protect that very right. The willingness of President Trump to break the law and the brazen nature of his pursuit of power underscores the gravity of this moment in history.
“We will be asked by future generations what we did. I do not take this lightly. I believe that we need to do something about it. We need to move forward with impeachment proceedings.
“Before revelations regarding Ukraine came to light, the contents of the Mueller Report and the president’s continuous actions to block congressional investigations were enough to begin impeachment proceedings. That’s why I voted to stop Republican efforts to end that process.
“Knowing what we know now, we must move forward with an impeachment investigation before President Trump disrupts our next presidential election – by openly and illegally seeking assistance from a foreign power. The eyes of future generations are watching.”