US Representative Ayanna Pressley says that after more than two and a half years of controversies, scandals, and allegations of wrongdoing, the American public is ready to see Congress impeach President Trump.
“This is about the American people, and I think that political will from the American people has moved to this,” the Dorchester Democrat told host Joy Reid in an interview televised Saturday on MSNBC’s “AM Joy.”
“We hear it at town halls, in faith houses, at grocery stores,” she continued. “So there are many bread crumbs here. When you look at just what comes out of his mouth directly and what is said in the light of day, it gives us great pause about what is happening under the cloak of night.”
Pressley accused Trump of abusing the power of his office and said the president “considers himself to be above the law.”
“What we see now is consistent,” she told Reid. “I mean, as early as 1973, Donald Trump was taken . . . to task and account by the Department of Justice for denying rental units to African-Americans. . . . When it comes to Donald Trump and his policies, the cruelty is the point. And when it comes to this administration, the corruption is the point.”
Pressley has supported impeachment since April, she said, “both because I believe this administration lost moral authority a long time ago, but also because of the Mueller report.”
Pointing to the indictments and guilty pleas of Trump associates resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, the congresswoman said Mueller had demonstrated that Russian officials interfered in the 2016 US election and that President Trump had obstructed justice in its aftermath.
She said the probe found “evidence both of the pervasive corruption throughout this administration, not only led by Donald Trump but perpetuated by all those in close proximity to him, including Rudy Giuiliani and Attorney General Barr.”
Pressley also said the House Financial Services Committee, on which she serves, is reviewing documents related to Trump’s dealings with Deutsche Bank, which continued to lend to Trump even after several of his businesses had filed for bankruptcy.
And the Committee on Oversight and Reform, on which Pressley also sits, is one of three panels that on Friday jointly subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, demanding he hand over documents related to Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
“We believe that those documents will further corroborate the whistle-blower’s accounts,” she said.
Asked by Reid about her mid-September filing of a separate impeachment resolution for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Pressley said Kavanaugh’s confirmation by a Republican-led Senate “was rushed and fundamentally flawed” and that the FBI hadn’t fully investigated the allegations.
“I’m going to continue to do the work of fighting for the healing and the justice of survivors. I still believe Anita Hill,” Pressley said, referring to the Brandeis University law professor who in 1991 accused Clarence Thomas, then a nominee to the Supreme Court, of sexual harassment.
“And I still believe Dr. Christine Ford, and I believe Deborah Ramirez,” Pressley said, referring to the psychology professor who accused Kavanaugh of an assault when both were Maryland teenagers and the Yale classmate to whom Kavanaugh allegedly exposed his penis at a party.
Pressley also responded to Trump’s latest attack on “the Squad” — four freshman congresswomen of color that includes Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Trump has repeatedly targeted the legislators in his tweets and has told them to “go back” to their home countries, though all are American citizens and three were born in the US.
A new Facebook ad campaign launched last week refers to the congresswomen as the “socialist squad,” and includes false accusations that the legislators have made “pro-terrorist remarks.” Pressley said this, too, was more of Trump being Trump.
“Well, he is nothing if not consistent,” she said. “Again, in the profound words of Dr. Maya Angelou, when people show you who they are, believe them. . . . He offers hateful rhetoric to distract from his hurtful policies, and the American people are hurting.”