Lewis: 'The time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come'

Rep. John LewisJohn LewisObama marks MLK Day by honoring King for his 'poetic brilliance' and 'moral clarity' The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial John Lewis to miss Martin Luther King Jr. Day event MORE (D-Ga.) called for impeachment proceedings against President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE on the House floor Tuesday.

“We cannot delay. We must not wait. Now is the time to act. I have been patient while we tried every other path and used every other tool. We will never find the truth unless we use the power given to the House of Representatives and the House alone,” Lewis said.

Lewis, a longtime civil rights activist, is one of the most senior House Democrats to call for impeachment proceedings.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I truly believe the time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come. To delay or to do otherwise would betray the foundation of our democracy.”

The number of House Democrats supporting an impeachment inquiry has grown steadily in recent months, but allegations that Trump threatened to make military aid conditional on the Ukrainian government investigating former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team MORE’s son Hunter have led to a flood of calls for an inquiry even among Democrats in swing districts.

“Today I come with a heavy heart deeply concerned about the future of our democracy, and I’m not alone,” Lewis said, adding he had spoken to constituents who “truly believe that our nation is descending into darkness.”

“Every turn, this administration demonstrates complete disdain and disregard for ethics, for the law and for the Constitution,” Lewis said, accusing the Trump administration of stonewalling various House investigations.

“The people have a right to inquire, they have a right to know ... whether they can put their faith and trust in the outcome of our elections ... whether the cornerstone of our democracy was undermined by people sitting in the White House today ... whether the president is using his office to line his pockets,” he said.

Lewis is the second Georgia Democrat to call for impeachment, following Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonHouse Democrats may call new impeachment witnesses if Senate doesn't Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote Democrat calls Gaetz the 'pot calling the kettle black' after Hunter Biden drug-use comments MORE, who voiced support earlier Tuesday after remaining one of the lone holdouts among Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee.

"Attempting to coerce a foreign government into digging up dirt on a political opponent, then trying to cover it up by unlawfully refusing to turn over the whistleblower complaint to Congress, crosses a red line," Johnson said in a statement Tuesday.