House Judiciary Democrat backs impeachment inquiry

House Judiciary Democrat backs impeachment inquiry
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mary Gay ScanlonMary Gay ScanlonFour House Judiciary members say they will 'move forward' with impeachment Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment GOP leader, Ocasio-Cortez give boost to lawmaker pay hike MORE (D-Pa.), the vice chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, called for an impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? 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 PelosiMoulton drops out of presidential race after struggling to gain traction Conservatives push Trump tariff relief over payroll tax cuts Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence 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 RaskinHouse panel investigating decision to resume federal executions Pelosi, allies seek to keep gun debate focused on McConnell Pelosi backers feel vindicated after tumultuous stretch 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 NadlerPoll: Majority wants Trump out, but not through impeachment Second Democrat representing Trump district backs impeachment GOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' 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.