New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for Democrats to bring impeachment proceedings against President Trump on Saturday—and tweeted that the party leadership’s refusal to do so is even more outrageous than Trump’s behavior.
"At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior," she wrote. "It is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him."
Reports that Trump allegedly attempted to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate Hunter Biden in an apparent bid to damage the presidential campaign of his father, Joe Biden, have sparked renewed calls for Trump’s impeachment. Democratic primary candidates for president including Elizabeth Warren, Julián Castro, and Beto O'Rourke have declared themselves to be in favor of impeachment. For his part, Biden himself has avoided firmly supporting or rejecting the idea. On Saturday, he said that the House should investigate the Ukraine matter, and, depending on their findings, Trump "could be impeached."
What is Congress waiting for? This is crazy. Unless we take action now, we will see the end of American democracy. https://t.co/r1reJ0br0i— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 21, 2019
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated her longstanding position against bringing impeachment proceedings in an NPR interview Friday. Pelosi said that she instead supports passing a law invalidating the Justice Department’s policy against indicting a sitting president and making it possible for future executives to face criminal charges. As it’s highly unlikely that such a measure would pass the Republican-held Senate during this particular administration—and there’s no way that Trump would sign it if it did—Pelosi acknowledged that the bill would be directed towards the potential wrongdoings of future presidents, not Trump himself.
But House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff—who has not supported House impeachment resolutions in the past—said that the new allegations surrounding Trump and the Ukraine may "force" House Democrats to impeach him. "I have spoken with a number of my colleagues over the last week and this seems different in kind," he told CNN’s Brian Stelter Sunday. "We may very well have crossed the Rubicon here."
Adam Schiff on @CNNSOTU: "I have spoken with a number of my colleagues over the last week, and this seems different in kind. We may very well have crossed the rubicon here." pic.twitter.com/Bb2IoYzJiz— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 22, 2019
Polling suggests that the public is divided on the question of impeachment, with 37 percent supporting the measure and 50 percent opposing it. But public support can be shifted—in 1973, only 19 percent of Americans supported the idea of removing then-President Richard Nixon from power. A year later, nearly 60 percent of Americans supported the measure. Considerable gains in support occurred in the wake of Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings and the Committee’s approval of articles of impeachment, which suggests that the House’s embarking on the process itself made impeachment more popular.
"This wasn’t Congress waiting on the public," historian Julian Zelizer told The Washington Post in June. "It was the other way around—Congress provided guidance to the public."
Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet sparked some pushback online. In a reply to the Representative’s missive, The Atlantic’s James Fallows called the comparison between Trump’s alleged criminality and the Democratic leadership’s inaction a "false equivalence."
"It is one thing for a sitting president to break the law," responded Ocasio-Cortez. "It’s another to let him. The integrity of our democracy isn’t threatened when a president breaks the law. It‘s threatened when we do nothing about it."
You Might Also Like