Representative Joseph Kennedy III is calling on the House to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump, adding his voice to a growing Democratic chorus calling for action in the wake of the scathing report by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“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 Friday afternoon releasedafter an interview with WPRI. “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.”
Kennedy has, until now, advocated the continuation of existing inquiries, telling the Globe in May that while impeachment couldn’t be ruled out, “we should continue to investigate his potential obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and financial conflicts of interest in the relevant committees.”
His announcement marks a rare instance of Kennedy bucking his caucus leaders. He’s developed a reputation as a team player and loyal ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has been steadfast in her view that pursuing impeachment against Trump is the wrong political strategy for Democrats to take.
On the other hand, Kennedy was first out of the gate to endorse Elizabeth Warren, his Massachusetts delegation colleague, when she announced her run for president. Warren was among the first Democrats in the race to call for impeachment proceedings to begin after the Mueller report was released.
And the number of House Democrats calling for impeachment has been slowly growing in the months since the release of the Mueller report and the Trump administration’s refusal to cooperate with congressional investigations. Administration officials have been ignoring subpoenas related to Trump’s tax returns, the unredacted Mueller report, and testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn.
Aside from Warren, Kennedy joins Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Jim McGovern, and Seth Moulton in supporting impeachment among the Massachusetts congressional delegation.
Christina Prignano can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter@cprignano.