Schumer throws support behind Pelosi impeachment inquiry

Schumer throws support behind Pelosi impeachment inquiry
© Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday threw his support behind Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Speaker Pelosi, it's time to throw American innovators a lifeline Why Americans must tune in to the Trump impeachment hearings MORE's (D-Calif.) decision to launch a formal impeachment inquiry against President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE
 
"I strongly support Speaker Pelosi’s decision. If we don’t reckon with President Trump’s persistent transgressions, the very foundation of this great republic is at risk," Schumer said.
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"The president kept pushing and pushing and pushing the constitutional envelope. Finally, the president’s conduct made an impeachment inquiry unavoidable," Schumer added.
 
Schumer's comments come after Pelosi announced on Tuesday evening that the House would launch a formal inquiry following an onslaught of pressure over reports that Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSenate GOP waves Trump off early motion to dismiss impeachment charges Key takeaways from first public impeachment hearing Diplomat ties Trump closer to Ukraine furor MORE pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE and his son Hunter Biden. 
 
The Trump administration released a five-page partial transcript on Wednesday of a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump, according to notes of the call released by the White House, asked Zelensky to work with Giuliani and expressed hope that he “can look into” Biden's role in the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor. 
 
Schumer has sidestepped taking a position on impeachment for months. Asked on Tuesday if the complaint warranted an impeachment inquiry into Trump he demurred except to say that he supported Pelosi, who had not yet announced the formal inquiry. 
 
Schumer noted on Wednesday that he had spoken with Pelosi "many times." 
 
"I know she did not make this decision lightly and took no pleasure in making it. It is her carefully considered judgment that it is now in the best interest of our country and our Constitution to proceed with an impeachment inquiry," he said.  

He added that recent developments raised questions about whether Trump "abused the powers of his office and betrayed the public trust for personal political gain."

"The answers to these questions, and others, can be pursued by the House committees involved in the impeachment inquiry, and that is precisely what the inquiry is for," he added.
 
Schumer's support for an impeachment inquiry comes after Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinPentagon watchdog declines to investigate hold on Ukraine aid Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action Five things to watch at Supreme Court's DACA hearings MORE (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, endorsed the effort on Tuesday before Pelosi's announcement.
 
"I think the House has to initiate an impeachment inquiry as a means of securing the documents and witnesses necessary to understand the whole story, and particularly the latest chapter involving Ukraine," Durbin told a small group of reporters.