U.S. Rep. Gerald Connolly is calling for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Connolly is the third Virginia representative to call for impeachment after Reps. Jennifer Wexton and Don Beyer.
In a statement issued Thursday, Conolly, D-11th, outlined four reasons for his decision to call for the inquiry, the first being his belief that the president obstructed justice based on the report and testimony of Special Counsel Robert Mueller III.
“The report details at least 10 instances in which the president of the United States obstructed justice,” Connolly’s statement said. “I firmly believe, but for the flawed Justice Department opinion, President Trump would be indicted for his actions.”
Mueller did not determine whether the president had obstructed justice because of U.S. Department of Justice guidelines barring a sitting president from being indicted.
Connolly also cited the president’s defiance of congressional subpoenas and investigations, violations of the emoluments clause and “racism, xenophobia and bigotry” as further reasons for an impeachment inquiry.
“We stand at a perilous moment for our country. No individual should be above the law. No individual should act the way this president behaves without consequence. No administration should be allowed to disregard the constitution at their whim. Now more than ever, Congress must assert its constitutional role and that is why I believe we must immediately start an impeachment inquiry into President Trump,” Connolly said.
The 11th District covers parts of Prince William and Fairfax counties. Prince William County is also represented by U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-1st, and Wexton, D-10th.
Wexton, a former prosecutor, called for an impeachment inquiry on July 30, citing the special counsel’s report and testimony. Wexton was the second Virginia representative to call for an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
“It is clear to me given the conduct by the president detailed in the Mueller report and Director Mueller’s recent testimony before Congress that -- were he not a sitting president -- Donald Trump would be indicted on charges for obstruction of justice,” Wexton said.
Beyer, D-8th, was the first representative in Virginia to call for an impeachment inquiry back in May. In addition to his belief the president had obstructed justice, Beyer said the president should be investigated for other potential crimes including tax fraud and campaign finance violations.
“President Trump has shown utter contempt for the Constitution from the moment he took office, but we are now faced with evidence of actions that strongly resemble high crimes and misdemeanors,” Beyer said. “The behavior repeatedly identified in the redacted Mueller report meets every standard for the classification of ‘obstruction of justice’ of which I am aware.”
More than100 House membershave called for an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. All are Democrats with the exception of Rep. Justin Amash, I-MI, who left the Republican party after calling for Trump’s impeachment earlier this year.
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