U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz for the first time on Monday called for impeachment proceedings to begin against President Donald Trump, joining a growing chorus of Democrats in Congress who support such action in the wake of allegations that the president tried to pressure the leader of Ukraine to investigate top Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden.
“The president is breaking statutory and constitutional law every day, and he is abusing his inherent power as president with regularity, enthusiasm, and most troublingly, impunity,” the Hawaii Democrat said in a news release. “He and his legal team argue that a sitting president’s authorities are so vast that they literally transcend the law. They argue that the Congress has a remedy for this criminality and defiance – the impeachment process.
“If that is their view, so be it. On behalf of the people who elected us, we must formalize and accelerate the impeachment process so that Congress, by exercising its responsibility under Article 1 of the Constitution, can provide some measure of accountability.”
Schatz said that beginning impeachment proceedings was important so that “no future president of either party believes that it is possible, practicable, or wise to defy the law, Congress’ constitutional role, and the American people.”
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono has been calling for an impeachment inquiry for months.