In a major development, seven key national security Democrats wrote an op-ed published in The Washington Post on Monday night calling Donald Trump’s Ukraine extortion scheme “a threat to all we have sworn to protect.”
In the editorial, the Democratic lawmakers – Reps. Gil Cisneros of California, Jason Crow of Colorado, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia – said that if the newest allegations are true, they believe they would warrant impeachment proceedings.
“We have devoted our lives to the service and security of our country, and throughout our careers, we have sworn oaths to defend the Constitution of the United States many times over,” the lawmakers wrote. “Now, we join as a unified group to uphold that oath as we enter uncharted waters and face unprecedented allegations against President Trump.”
More from the op-ed:
The president of the United States may have used his position to pressure a foreign country into investigating a political opponent, and he sought to use U.S. taxpayer dollars as leverage to do it. He allegedly sought to use the very security assistance dollars appropriated by Congress to create stability in the world, to help root out corruption and to protect our national security interests, for his own personal gain. These allegations are stunning, both in the national security threat they pose and the potential corruption they represent. We also know that on Sept. 9, the inspector general for the intelligence community notified Congress of a “credible” and “urgent” whistleblower complaint related to national security and potentially involving these allegations. Despite federal law requiring the disclosure of this complaint to Congress, the administration has blocked its release to Congress.
This flagrant disregard for the law cannot stand. To uphold and defend our Constitution, Congress must determine whether the president was indeed willing to use his power and withhold security assistance funds to persuade a foreign country to assist him in an upcoming election.
If these allegations are true, we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense. We do not arrive at this conclusion lightly, and we call on our colleagues in Congress to consider the use of all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of “inherent contempt” and impeachment hearings, to address these new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security.
A Democratic tipping point on impeachment?
Monday’s op-ed in The Washington Post is just the latest indication that House Democrats could be approaching a tipping point when it comes to impeachment.
As CNN reported earlier, moderate Democrats who had previously been reluctant to support impeachment said they could be swayed in light of recent events. It was also reported on Monday night that House Democrats will caucus on Tuesday to discuss issues related to impeachment.
It’s unclear whether House leadership will move forward on impeachment, but there is no question that the Ukraine extortion and briary scandal has jump-started the discussions in a new and urgent way.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.