Rep. Clark Backs Impeachment Probe, Putting Pressure On Pelosi

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Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark, D-Mass., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 23, 2019. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark, D-Mass., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 23, 2019. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Rep. Katherine Clark, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, is calling for impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

The Melrose Democrat’s position in leadership places additional pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has so far resisted calls from roughly 100 Democratic lawmakers and one independent congressman to begin an impeachment probe.

“Since the release of the Mueller Report in April, it has been clear that the President committed impeachable offenses by welcoming interference from a hostile foreign power in the 2016 election and then attempting to obstruct the investigation into his unpatriotic actions,” Clark said in a statement. “Moreover, he said he would do it all again if given the chance.”

She’s the eighth member of the Massachusetts delegation to back the move, and the third since former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified in front of two U.S. House committees about his investigation into Russian election interference and Trump's alleged obstruction of that investigation.

Clark said an impeachment inquiry would not only give lawmakers tools to investigate potential crimes committed by the president, but it would also allow them to focus on election interference.

“We can’t allow Republican inaction to prop the door open for thieves to steal an election. We must be relentless in exposing the truth, act to protect our national security, and ensure that every eligible American can vote without foreign interference,” Clark said.

Her announcement came hours after Sen. Ed Markey urged House lawmakers to open an impeachment probe, and one day after Rep. Lori Trahan said she backed the move.

Said Markey on the Senate floor Thursday: "If the evidence of obstruction of justice and other wrongdoing that Robert Mueller explained yesterday is not evidence of impeachable offenses, what is?"

Trump has denied the allegations of obstruction.

Markey had previously said that Mueller and other key witnesses need to testify before impeachment is considered.

Markey faces two primary challengers, both of whom had called for impeachment to move ahead.

The Massachusetts lawmakers join Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Reps. Seth Moulton, Ayanna Pressley, Joseph Kennedy III and Jim McGovern in backing an impeachment probe.

Massachusetts U.S. Reps. Richard Neal, Bill Keating and Stephen Lynch have criticized the president’s actions but stopped short of saying an impeachment inquiry should begin.

Speaking at the Capitol Thursday, McGovern said he's not concerned that more members haven’t come out for impeachment after Mueller's testimony.

“I think people are going to go home now — we have our summer work recess — and they’re going to hear from their constituents," he said. "And I think when we come back is when I expect more people to decide that we have to go forward with an impeachment inquiry."

With reporting by WBUR's Khari Thompson

This article was originally published on July 25, 2019.

This segment aired on July 26, 2019.

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