Demanding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi back up her announcement of an official impeachment inquiry with decisive action, progressives Tuesday night called on the Democratic leader to cancel the chamber's two-week October recess and move forward with the proceedings against President Donald Trump as quickly as possible.
"We're glad Speaker Pelosi finally said out loud what a majority of the Democratic Caucus and constituents have been saying for months: Donald Trump has betrayed his oath of office, betrayed our national security, and betrayed the integrity of our elections," Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of progressive advocacy group Indivisible, said in a statement.
"Now, we need to see her words backed up with action: cancel recess, and get to a vote on articles of impeachment as soon as humanly possible," the group added. "Every day that Trump is president is another day our democracy is broken and our national security is at risk. The activists who built the blue wave and put Democrats in charge expect them to do the right thing, and lead."
Pelosi's announcement of an official impeachment inquiry came after more than a dozen House Democrats voiced support for impeachment in less than 24 hours. The flood of statements and tweets in favor of impeachment proceedings followed a report that Trump ordered hold on military aid to Ukraine just days before pressuring that country's leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to a Politico tally updated Tuesday night, 207 House Democrats have publicly backed impeachment.
Keep up the pressure! Call your members of Congress tomorrow! https://t.co/kKLiOd7oJc
— Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) September 25, 2019
While Pelosi's public support for an impeachment inquiry marked a significant shift, progressives warned the Speaker could attempt to kill the momentum behind impeachment by allowing a drawn-out process that doesn't produce anything of substance.
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Ezra Levin, co-executive director of Indivisible, outlined what Pelosi will do if she "wants to squash impeachment":
- Issue a statement that *sounds* strong;
- Create a special committee to take away authority from Judiciary;
- Allow the House to go into recess;
- Hope the news cycle moves on.
"Talk is cheap," said Levin. "Pay attention to her actions."
Shortly following Pelosi's announcement, the New York Times reported that the White House is planning to release to Congress before the end of the week a "redacted version" of the whistleblower complaint against Trump that helped break the impeachment dam.
The White House previously advised Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to withhold the complaint from lawmakers, a move Democrats condemned as a clear violation of the law.
Lawmakers have demanded that the Trump administration release nothing less than the full whistleblower complaint.
"Congress needs the whistleblower complaint—as required by law—that reportedly references you making a still-unknown 'promise' to a foreign leader," said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). "A promise, according to reports, that the Inspector General found to be alarming and of urgent concern."