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Rep. Albio Sires added his name to the list of Democrats calling for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
“The Constitution gives Congress the sole power to impeach an official, including the President. In our system of checks and balances, this authority is one that must be used with careful deliberation to hold officials accountable for their actions,” the congressman said. “I do not take this responsibility lightly, but the President’s past obstruction of Congressional investigations combined with the revelations of the last 24 hours have made it clear that we must begin an impeachment inquiry.”
House Democratic leaders and moderate Democrats have so far been reluctant to bring impeachment proceedings against Trump.
But, a Wall Street Journal Report released Sunday that said Trump repeatedly pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with former New York City Mayor Rudy Guliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, on a probe focusing on the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, who is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination to take on Trump next year.
There is no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company that was once investigated by the country’s former prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, who was formally dismissed by Ukraine’s parliament after a series of protests over his blocking a number of high-profile corruption cases.
“Not only did President Trump order a withholding of funds to a foreign nation until it acquiesced to his demands, he is also attempting to block the whistleblower’s complaint from coming to Congress,” Sires said. “These direct violations of the law, and egregious abuses of power, must be treated like the national security threats that they are.”
Trump froze close to $400 million in military aid to Ukraine days before he allegedly pressured Zelensky to assist in an investigation that could prove politically harmful to the man he will likely face next November.
Sen. Bob Menendez, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the move “extortion” on Monday.
“Up until now, I wanted to follow the ongoing congressional investigations to their conclusions and using the facts uncovered to make a decision about impeachment,” Sires said. “However, these developments raise the urgency to a new level and I join many of my colleagues, and our constituents, in calling for an impeachment inquiry — we must uphold our oaths to protect the country, even if the President will not.”