Growing calls for an impeachment inquiry burst into the center of the conversation on Tuesday as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally backed an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
The historic announcement came after recent revelations that Trump pressured the leader of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. The conversations reportedly prompted a whistleblower to file a formal complaint with the intelligence community inspector general, which the Trump administration has refused to turn over to Congress.
The Trump administration has also refused to cooperate with other congressional oversight investigations, ignoring subpoenas related to his tax returns, the unredacted Mueller report, and testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn.
The divide among Democrats who feel impeachment must begin right away to counter what some see as Trump’s rejection of Congress’ oversight role, and those who favor continuing to investigate the Trump administration outside the impeachment process, has narrowed substantially.
Pelosi, once a proponent of a cautious approach, announced on Sept. 24 that Trump’s dealings with Ukraine’s leader and subsequent refusal to turn over the whistleblower complaint led her to back an inquiry.
Before her announcement, members of Pelosi’s caucus had been coming out in favor of impeachment with increasing frequency.
Here’s a look at where members of the Massachusetts delegation stand on impeaching Trump:
Senator Elizabeth Warren: The state’s senior senator, a 2020 presidential candidate, began calling for the immediate launch of impeachment proceedings after the release of Robert Mueller’s Russia report. Countering Pelosi’s approach, she has argued that the political implications of impeaching Trump should not be taken into consideration.
“There is no political convenience exception to the Constitution of the United States of America,” she has said.
Representative Ayanna Pressley: The first among the Mass. delegation to call for impeachment, Pressley has been in favor of it since before her primary election victory against Michael Capuano last September. She said Trump “gives us examples every single day of why he is unfit for office and ought to be impeached.”
Representative Seth Moulton: A one-time 2020 candidate, Seth Moulton on May 21 said that he was in favor of opening an impeachment inquiry.
“We have a constitutional responsibility to act as a check on the executive,” Moulton told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
“I’m not calling for a vote on impeachment today, we don’t have all the facts yet. But we should be getting those facts and making them transparent for the American people,” he said.
Representative Jim McGovern: McGovern told WGBH on May 29 that he believes the House Judiciary Committee should open an inquiry to “formally consider whether impeachment is warranted.”
McGovern dismissed concerns that the move could backfire and hurt Democrats in future elections.
“Quite frankly we’re beyond talking about this in terms of political implications,” McGovern said. “We have to do what’s right.”
He has previously echoed Pelosi’s assertion that Trump is engaged in a “cover-up” and said that Trump is not fit to hold office, but held off on calling for the immediate start of impeachment proceedings in the wake of the Mueller report and subsequent investigations.
Representative Joe Kennedy III: After stopping short of endorsing impeachment in a statement to the Globe in May, Kennedy came out in support of beginning an inquiry in an interview with WPRI on June 28.
“I believe it is time for the House to begin impeachment proceedings against the President. This is not a decision I made lightly, nor is it one to celebrate,” Kennedy said in a statement following the interview. “It’s a dark day for our country when its Commander-in-Chief is accused of high crimes. But after reading the Mueller report in full, reviewing the facts and consulting with legal experts, I believe Congress has a responsibility to act decisively.”
Representative Lori Trahan: Trahan, who had previously said she wanted to keep impeachment “on the table,” called on her House colleagues to begin an inquiry after Robert Mueller testified in two separate House hearings.
“This is not a decision I came to lightly. As a staffer during the Clinton impeachment, I’ve seen firsthand how disruptive this process can be for our nation. But no President — including this one — is above the law,” Trahan said. “Mueller’s message to the American people today was clear: his report did not exonerate the President, and that there is ample evidence that the President broke the law by repeatedly engaging in efforts to obstruct the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
Senator Ed Markey: Markey came out in favor of beginning an impeachment inquiry a day after Mueller testified before a pair of House committees. He voiced his support for an inquiry in remarks on the Senate floor.
“In the face of evidence of serious and persistent misconduct that is harmful to the nation, Congress would be abusing its constitutional discretion and setting a dangerous precedent if it did not begin an impeachment inquiry,” he said.
He had previously told reporters that Mueller and other witnesses should testify before impeachment was considered.
Representative Katherine Clark: Clark, a member of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team, came out in support of impeachment on July 25. “We can’t allow Republican inaction to prop the door open for thieves to steal an election,” she said, according to a statement. Previously she was on board with Pelosi’s cautious approach. “We will see where the facts lead us,” the Melrose Democrat told the Globe’s Adrian Walker in April. “I don’t think impeachment should be a political decision. I don’t think deciding not to impeach should be a political decision either.”
Representative William Keating: The Democrat representing the South Coast, Cape, and Islands said in a video posted to Twitter on Aug. 22 that if a vote were held to move forward with an impeachment inquiry, he would vote “yes.”
Keating said there were several questions left unanswered by Robert Mueller’s investigation, including issues of fraud, money laundering, and others. He urged the House to move forward with “all the investigations dealing with all of these issues.”
Representative Richard Neal: Neal, who holds a powerful House chairmanship, tweeted Tuesday that “I strongly back Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s call today for a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The American people expect truth and transparency from their government.”
As chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means committee, Neal subpoenaed Trump’s tax returns in May and is embroiled in a court fight after the Treasury Department refused to comply.
Representative Stephen Lynch: After raising the possibility of supporting an inquiry if the allegations related to Trump’s communication with Ukraine’s leader were “fully substantiated,” Lynch came out fully in support of impeachment following Pelosi’s announcement that the House would move forward with an inquiry.
“I believe President Trump’s recent actions & statements imploring a foreign government to help take down a political opponent in the U.S. Presidential election satisfies the high crimes & misdemeanors standards in Sec 4, Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution,” Lynch tweeted on Sept. 24. “President Trump’s actions, currently undisputed, are an attack on our Democracy, national security and rule of law, and warrant the commencement of formal impeachment proceedings.”
Lynch had previously argued impeachment was doomed in the Senate and did not support moving forward.
Christina Prignano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.