House Judiciary Democrat backs impeachment inquiry

House Judiciary Democrat backs impeachment inquiry
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mary Gay ScanlonMary Gay ScanlonOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Buttigieg targets Warren, Sanders on health care ahead of debate | Judge overturns ObamaCare transgender protections | Poll sees support drop for 'Medicare for All' Lewandowski refuses to say whether Trump has offered him a pardon Four House Judiciary members say they will 'move forward' with impeachment MORE (D-Pa.), the vice chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, called for an impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' 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 PelosiDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' Mattis responds to Trump criticism: 'I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals' 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 RaskinEx-Trump aide on Russia testifies for 10 hours as part of impeachment inquiry Oversight panel to subpoena Trump officials next week over deportation deferrals Democrats plow ahead as Trump seeks to hobble impeachment effort 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 NadlerDem committee chairs blast Trump G-7 announcement Top Democrat holds moment of silence for Cummings at hearing Barr to speak at Notre Dame law school on Friday 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.