House Judiciary Democrat backs impeachment inquiry

House Judiciary Democrat backs impeachment inquiry
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mary Gay ScanlonMary Gay ScanlonGOP leader, Ocasio-Cortez give boost to lawmaker pay hike GOP leader, Ocasio-Cortez give boost to lawmaker pay hike Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage MORE (D-Pa.), the vice chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, called for an impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE on Tuesday, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“The President’s refusal to produce evidence or permit witness testimony defies not only the rule of law but the basic protections of our Constitution,” Scanlon said Tuesday in a statement. “No one is above the rule of law. The time has come to start an impeachment inquiry because the American people deserve to know the truth and to have the opportunity to judge the gravity of the evidence and charges leveled against the President.”

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An inquiry, distinct from actual impeachment, would involve a formal House investigation into potential impeachment charges, with the House potentially voting to impeach if a majority believes it is warranted.

Scanlon’s comments reflect a heightening debate between leaders in the Democratic House. Last night, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCalifornia Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry California Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments MORE (D-Calif.) and her allies in House leadership reportedly sparred with other leaders including Reps. David Cicciline (D-R.I.) and Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinDem committees win new powers to investigate Trump Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump Congress and contempt: What you need to know MORE (D-Md.) about the wisdom or necessity of impeachment proceedings. Pelosi reportedly argued in favor of allowing the various House investigations into Trump and the White House to take their course.

Raskin, Scanlon’s colleague on the Judiciary committee, told The Washington Post Tuesday that “most of us have been led to the position that an impeachment inquiry is warranted,” citing the White House’s repeated defiance of House subpoenas, most recently by former White House counsel Don McGahn Tuesday.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerFrom abortion to obstruction, politicians' hypocrisy is showing Watergate figure John Dean earns laughter for responses to GOP lawmakers The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by MAPRx - Nadler gets breakthrough deal with DOJ on Mueller docs MORE (D-N.Y.) has also reportedly recommended an impeachment inquiry to Pelosi, but after she rebuffed the idea and said it could undermine other House investigations, expressed agreement with Pelosi’s position.