Rep. Bonamici reaffirms call for impeachment proceedings
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici has reaffirmed her belief that Congress should open an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, after Special Counsel Robert Mueller said Wednesday that his report into Russian meddling did not exonerate the president.
"As Mueller said when closing his statement, 'there were multiple systematic efforts to interfere with our election. And that deserves the attention of every American,'" Bonamici posted to Twitter on Wednesday, May 29. "We must hold everyone who was involved — including the president — accountable."
In a statement on Wednesday, Mueller said longstanding policy in the Department of Justice prevented him from charging Trump with a crime.
"If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so," Mueller said.
Bonamici said that responsibility must fall to Congress, making her one of more than 30 Democratic lawmakers who have called for impeachment proceedings against the president.
The announcement is a change for the Oregon Democrat, who stopped short of publicly calling for an impeachment during a town hall meeting in Hillsboro last month, saying only that House committees should continue to press their investigations of him and his administration.
But in a statement released by her office May 22, she said recent resistance by Trump to House subpoenas has led her to change her stance, a statement she reiterated this week.
"I am gravely concerned about the actions of President Trump and the growing evidence of possible impeachable offenses, including obstruction of justice, committing human rights violations by separating children from their families, and profiting from the presidency," Bonamici said. "I've said before that impeachment should be an option, but we must approach it deliberately. The time has come."
Bonamici said congressional oversight is a critical part of the country's system of checks and balances.
"Over the past several weeks, Congress has attempted to ask questions about President Trump and his activities and policies; questions that are rightly part of congressional oversight and that the American people deserve to have answered," she said. "President Trump and his administration have refused to cooperate."
Bonamici said impeachment proceedings would send a message that the president's conduct is neither "acceptable (nor) appropriate."
"An impeachment inquiry is necessary to shed light on the truth," she said. "As this administration stretches executive privilege to the breaking point, flouts subpoenas, and disregards contempt proceedings, an impeachment inquiry is the appropriate tool available to allow Congress to fulfill our constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight of the executive branch as a co-equal branch of our government."
Impeachment would be akin to an indictment, which can be approved by a majority in the House. But removal is unlikely in the Senate, which has a Republican majority and where a two-thirds vote is required.
At the April 23 town hall meeting, Bonamici said, "This president is not fit for this office," which drew applause from the crowd of 200 at Century High School.
Bonamici is one of two Oregon members of the House to have called on impeachment proceedings. Congressman Earl Blumenauer called for impeachment proceedings on May 3.
By Peter Wong and Geoff Pursinger
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