Cummings calls for Trump's impeachment

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsDemocrat Kweisi Mfume wins House primary in Maryland Key races to watch in Tuesday's primaries The Postal Service collapse that isn't happening MORE (D-Md.) on Tuesday joined a growing chorus of Democratic lawmakers calling for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters MORE to be impeached.

"When the history books are written about this tumultuous era, I want them to show that I was among those in the House of Representatives who stood up to lawlessness and tyranny," Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said in a statement.


"If Senate Republicans choose to close their eyes, put party over country, and forego their duty under the Constitution, the history books will show that too."

Pressure on Democratic leadership to back impeachment has grown in recent days amid reports that Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination The Memo: Job numbers boost Trump and challenge Biden Chris Wallace: Jobs numbers show 'the political resilience of Donald Trump' MORE's son Hunter earlier this year.

Trump has defended his conversations with the Ukrainian leader and said he has authorized the release of a transcript of his July call with Zelensky.

The call has come under mounting scrutiny, while lawmakers have also demanded that the administration hand over a whistleblower complaint that reportedly raised concerns about the president's discussion with a foreign leader reportedly related to Ukraine.

“We can now see with our own eyes that the President is jeopardizing our national security," Cummings said in his statement Tuesday afternoon that alluded to remarks the president has made in recent days defending his call with Zelensky.

"He admitted to personally withholding military security aid that Congress appropriated to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression. He admitted to personally urging a foreign actor to dig up dirt on his political rival. And he personally attacked a whistleblower whose protected information is being withheld from Congress in violation of the law," Cummings said.

Cummings's statement did not directly mention efforts to impeach Trump, though a release from his office that accompanied the statement said that the Maryland Democrat "supports impeachment."

Moments later Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNRCC turns up heat on vulnerable Democrats over Omar's call to abolish police Shocking job numbers raise hopes for quicker recovery Engel primary challenger hits million in donations MORE (D-Calif.) announced the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry targeting Trump.

Pelosi said that the process will involve six House panels continuing their investigations under the umbrella of an impeachment inquiry. 

Cummings's support for impeachment is crucial given his committee leadership position.

He has already been aggressively pursuing investigations into the Trump administration, including on relations with Ukraine, and has battled the president on various other issues.