More than half of Democratic lawmakers within the House of Representatives believe that the time is now to start an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Donald Trump.
The threshold was passed this week, when the 118th member of the Democratic caucus reached the conclusion that an inquiry was appropriate. That individual was Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, Politico reported.
A number of Democrats openly expressed their support for a formal inquiry following testimonies from former Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller, who reiterated in meetings with the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees last month that his report on the president’s conduct did not exonerate him of criminal wrongdoing, particularly on the issue of obstruction of justice.
NEW: Rep. Ted Deutch became the 23rd lawmaker to call for an impeachment inquiry since Mueller testified — and with him, a majority of House Democrats now say they'd vote to take that step.https://t.co/wO3oOmt5Hq
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) August 1, 2019
Several prominent members of the Democratic caucus have espoused concern that not speaking out or acting on the Mueller report could have grave consequences for the nation moving forward.
“The President’s repeated abuses have brought American democracy to a perilous crossroads,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-New York). “Following the guidance of the Constitution – which I have sworn to uphold – is the only way to achieve justice.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, however, has so far skirted the issue, choosing to support a process that may lead to an impeachment inquiry but refusing to endorse one happening at this time.
Although the new threshold was reached this week, Democrats may have a difficult time selling the idea to the American public. Only 32 percent agree with starting the impeachment process at this point, while 60 percent say the process shouldn’t start now, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this week. The poll did not delve into the question further, neglecting to ask whether other inquiries into the president’s conduct should be halted entirely or allowed to continue.
Respondents to the poll were asked, however, whether they believed Trump obstructed justice. Fifty-two percent said he did. On another question, 56 percent said they believe the Mueller report did not exonerate the president of wrongdoing, while 31 percent believe it did.