(CBS SF) – Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, amid a growing scandal over the president's dealings with the leader of Ukraine.
"The President must be held accountable. No one is above the law," said Pelosi.
Pelosi had long resisted calls from many progressive lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president, but Democrats appear to have reached a breaking point over the administration's refusal to hand over a whistleblower complaint related to Mr. Trump's interaction with a foreign leader.
According to CNN, which has tracked support among house members for months, seven members of Congress representing the Bay Area announced their support of of the impeachment process ahead of Pelosi's announcement.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo)
Speier told CNN's "New Day" in May that she supported starting the impeachment inquiry process.
"I believe that an inquiry into impeachment is required at this time," Speier said.
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael)
Huffman signed on to efforts to start impeachment proceedings in December 2017.
"Impeachment is an extraordinary measure, but it should be clear to anyone who examines the facts that President Trump's actions justify his impeachment, including his efforts to obstruct justice, his self-enrichment and serial violations of the Emoluments Clause, and his involvement in a cover-up stemming from his campaign's very likely collusion with Russian interests to undermine the 2016 presidential election," Huffman said in a statement at the time.
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord)
DeSaulnier put out a statement late in late May after Mueller's public remarks, saying, "Congress must do its job, which includes overriding the DOJ policy that protects the president under any circumstance, and beginning an impeachment inquiry."
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland)
Lee is a cosponsor of an impeachment inquiry resolution by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan).
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin)
Swalwell, who was among the Democratic House members running for president, called for an impeachment inquiry to be opened on June 13, following comments Trump made about being willing to accept damaging information on a political opponent from a foreign actor and not report it to the FBI.
"Impeachment is the most extraordinary remedy the Constitution affords Congress," Swalwell told reporters. "As a former prosecutor, I do not take this lightly. But the President continues to put his own interests above America's. He is lawless. His relentless attacks on our rule of law and numerous efforts to obstruct justice and Congress have reached such a point to require extraordinary action. It's time for Congress to open an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump."
Rep. John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove)
Garamendi, whose district covers eastern Solano County, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview on July 23 that he supports an impeachment inquiry.
"That is in preparation so that we know all the information necessary that would be in an impeachment resolution," Garamendi said, adding, "This is a very important step, moves uss forward, gives us critically important information."
After Mueller's testimony, Garamendi told CNN on July 25 that if the House doesn't move forward with impeachment proceedings, "the risk is that we have abandoned our responsibility."
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Fremont)
Khanna said in an August MSNBC interview that he supported Nadler's committee investigation into the President as an impeachment inquiry.
"I support Nadler. I support the impeachment inquiry," Khanna said. "I haven`t gone on television calling for it because Nadler has a process, and he has a timeline, and I didn`t want to put pressure on him based on that timeline. He wanted to make sure we filed the court hearing against McGahn. He did that. Now we`re in an inquiry, and I support him on that."
Ahead of Tuesday's announcement, more than 160 members of Congress, nearly all Democrats, had voiced support for an impeachment inquiry.
Tom Steyer, Democratic presidential candidate
Statement Tuesday: "I started Need to Impeach almost two years ago because I believed it was important to protect our country from this lawless president. Over 8 million Americans joined in that effort and today their voices are being heard loud and clear — this is their victory. I applaud Speaker Pelosi and Democrats in Congress who are calling for an investigation into Trump's criminal behavior. No one, not even the President, is above the law and he must be held accountable."
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