* Press release…
Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) issued the following statement in support of the U.S. House of Representatives opening an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump:
“I take no pleasure in announcing my support for the House to begin an impeachment inquiry into the President of the United States.
“I have wrestled with this decision over the past several months as I’ve listened to my constituents and reviewed the evidence presented by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, including his direct testimony to Congress.
“On the Financial Services Committee, on which I serve, I have seen President Trump attempt to block legitimate Congressional investigations into the role of foreign money in transactions by the Trump Organization, Deutsche Bank, and others.
“I have watched with horror as President Trump has perpetrated an assault on American values. In word and deed, President Trump has demonstrated an utter disregard for the rule of law and the fundamental principles that make up the foundation of our democracy.
“The Mueller report details several occasions – at least ten – where President Trump took actions to obstruct the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 elections.
“Our Constitution vests Congress with the unique obligation to perform oversight of the federal government, including of the President and his administration. Under our system of checks and balances, no person – not even the President – should be above the law or immune from facing the consequences of their actions.”
Foster is the 11th member of the Illinois congressional delegation to announce explicit support for an impeachment inquiry; the state sends 13 Democrats and five Republicans to the House.
The two other Illinois Democrats in the House, Reps. Cheri Bustos and Dan Lipinski, are following more closely the lead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and have more cautious positions, with a bottom line for both that they back the Trump-related investigations being conducted by five committees, including the House Judiciary panel.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., is pursuing an investigation “into obstruction, corruption and abuse of power by Trump and his associates” in order to “determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the President.”
* Greg Hinz…
That leaves Lipinski, who in a separate statement said he’s standing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We don’t need and should not have an official ‘impeachment inquiry’ vote in the House at this time, I have been and continue to be in support of the investigative work that is being done in the House committees.”
Added Lipinski, “Right now, I think the best way to remove President Trump from office is voting him out in the 2020 election. This may change as the work of House committees continue, but if the House impeached the president now, it could backfire because the president would be able to say that he was persecuted by the Democratic House but exonerated by the Senate.”
I’ve asked the Marie Newman campaign for comment.
*** UPDATE *** Marie Newman…
I believe there is ample justification for an impeachment inquiry and I think that voters in my district are looking for a leader who will, at all costs, defend and uphold the Constitution. It’s unfortunate to see Dan Lipinski standing apart from other Democrats while President Trump continues to abuse power and exhibit blatant disregard for the Constitution. An official impeachment inquiry will bolster ongoing investigations in the House and make it clear to President Trump and his administration that no one is above the law.
Also, here’s another Dem candidate, Abe Matthew…
Congress must open an impeachment inquiry based on the actions of President Trump, as set forth in the Mueller Report. It is precisely the role of Congress to act as fact-finder in determining what role the President Trump played in Russia’s 2016 interference in our elections and to what extent the President obstructed justice in the ensuing investigation.
Our democracy can multi-task. Congress can conduct hearings related to an impeachment inquiry while we the people work to put a Democrat back in the White House. The people elected their members of Congress on the assumption that those members would be able to handle the wide array of issues facing our nation. Regardless of an impeachment inquiry’s ultimate result, it is imperative that Congress fulfills it’s obligation to investigate and give the American people some finality to this dark chapter in our nation’s history.
“It’s no surprise that Dan Lipinski stands apart from 11 Democratic colleagues from Illinois and refuses to support opening impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. Dan Lipinski has stood firmly in support of components of Donald Trump’s racist and backward agenda when it comes to healthcare, women’s rights, and immigration. Leadership is about taking a stand with courage, doing the right thing - not playing it politically safe with an upcoming election. This silence from Lipinski is just another example of why we need to elect more bold, independent Democrats like who will fight Trump and not bow to party leadership on either side.”