House Democrats began to call for Trump's impeachment once again after White House counsel Don McGahn skipped his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The White House blocked McGahn from appearing before the House, citing the Department of Justice ruling that counsel could not be forced to give testimony, ONA reports citing Sputniknews.
The caucus is set to discuss the impeachment option Wednesday morning at a closed-door special meeting, according to a report by The Hill. While some Democrats supported impeachment from the start, others — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — continue to say caution should be exercised.
According to a report by The Hill, Dems who previously urged exercising caution over the impeachment issue, have now drifted towards supporting the idea, following persistent stonewalling of numerous House panels' subpoenas by the White House. Among those Democrats are Representative Jamie Raskin, member of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's team and a member of the Judiciary Committee.
"We've been presented with overwhelming evidence of high crimes and misdemeanours," Raskin said about the power struggle between the executive and the legislative branches of the government. "That's pretty dramatic when the president pulls the curtain down over the executive branch of government and refuses to comply with subpoenas and other lawful demands for information."
Michigan Rep Justin Amash has become the first Republican to join the Dem choir of impeachment calls, saying he decided Trump engaged in "impeachable conduct" after reading special counsel Robert Mueller's report on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, which Russia denies.
Still, many Democrats continue to urge caution with impeachment, despite admitting they are becoming more concerned with the issue.
"I'm not there yet personally, but there's no question I'm growing more and more concerned," Dean Phillips of Minnesota says. "I don't want to see our country go through that, but they are making it awfully, awfully difficult."
"We have to drive with the emergency brake on," Anna Eshoo of California warns, according to The Hill. "I've been through impeachment — it tears the country apart."
Currently, chances that the Dems can secure a simple majority of 218 votes required to initiate an impeachment inquiry are somewhat slim.
"I disagree with the notion that a growing number of the House Democratic Caucus wants to jump straight to impeachment," House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries told reporters, adding that most Democrats are now focused on more mundane issues like the cost of prescription drugs and an infrastructure packages.
Many Democrats who did jump on impeachment bandwagon admitted that McGahn's refusal to show up for testimony was the last straw for them. Others pointed out that [Treasury Secretary Steven] Mnuchin wrote a letter to the House saying he will also skip his testimony on Trump's tax returns.
The Democrat-led House has initiated numerous investigations into the White House in an effort to wrestle power from Trump, including an investigation into possible obstruction of justice during the Mueller probe and Trump's tax returns. However, the lawmakers are hesitant to initiate an impeachment procedure, considering how the1998 failed impeachment of Bill Clinton squashed the credibility of Republicans and sent Clinton's popularity to a historical maximum.