Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis has said the time will soon come when he will issue a position on impeaching President Trump – saying he has ‘strong feelings’ on the issue.
The senior Democrat and impassioned orator has mostly kept his own counsel as the impeachment debate has ripped through the House Democratic Caucus – with a majority of the House majority party now in favor of opening an impeachment inquiry.
‘My time is growing near,’ he told reporters this week.
‘I’ve never been supportive of this so-called president. Before he was inaugurated I said he was not legitimate. So I have some very strong feelings,’ he said, Politico reported.
‘My time is growing near,’ civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis said this week when asked about impeachment
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee moved to establish procedures for what lawmakers say is essentially an impeachment inquiry, even though the full House has not voted to authorize one.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Lewis ally, bristled when reporters tried to pin her down Thursday on what to call the effort.
‘I’m not answering any more questions on investigations,’ the speaker told reporters at a press conference, after saying she supports the Judiciary Committee’s actions.
She accused reporters of being ‘hung up’ on the language – an impeachment inquiry – of what was going on at the committee. ‘I’m not answering any more questions on this subject,’ she snapped at one point during her presser shortly before walking off.
Lewis has stayed on the sidelines in part out of deference to Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Lewis’ voice holds sway in the party as a whole, among the black caucus, and in his home state
Trump seems eager to hang a future impeachment around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s neck while he fires up his base
Lewis gave an impassioned speech arguing against President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in the House.
‘Today is a very sad day for this House,’ he said on the floor. ‘This morning when I got up, I wanted to cry, but the tears would not come. Before we cast this one little vote, we all should ask the question, is this good for America? Is this good for the American people? Is this good for this institution?’
A total of 135 lawmakers now back impeachment. The Democrats hold a 235 vote majority out of the body’s 435 members.
Another senior black caucus member, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, noted the importance of Lewis’ role. ‘No question about it. Who wants to be on the other side of John Lewis?’ When he speaks, everybody listens,’ he told Politico.
Judiciary member Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic Caucus chair, tweeted his support for the resolution Thursday. Jeffries in prior comments has expressed caution about going down the impeachment path.
President Donald Trump tweeted a litany of accomplishments on Friday to argue against impeachment, but no one had brought it up during Thursday’s Democratic debate in Houston
‘House Judiciary Committee just adopted resolution for IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATION. Voted YES. No. One. Is. Above. The. Law,’ tweeted Jeffries.
Georgia Reps. Hank Johnson and Lucy McBath both voted for the Judiciary resolution. McBath is facing a competitive race in a state she shares with Lewis.
MAJORITY OF DEMS FAVOR PUTTING TRUMP ON TRIAL
A majority of Democratic lawmakers in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives have now said they support starting impeachment proceedings against Republican President Donald Trump.
The total stands at 135 lawmakers, a majority of House Democrats, whose ranks total 235 members.
That is still short of the 218 votes needed either to pass a resolution authorizing a formal impeachment inquiry or to approve articles of impeachment against Trump.
No Democratic presidential candidates brought up the subject at Thursday’s debate in Houston.
On Friday the president launched laid out a litany of reasons he believes he should be beyond the reach of impeachment in a morning tweet storm.
‘How do you impeach a President who has helped create perhaps the greatest economy in the history of our Country? All time best unemployment numbers, especially for Blacks, Hispanics, Asians & Women. More people working today than ever before,’ he tweeted.
Trump boasted that he had ‘Rebuilt [the] Military & [achieved healthcare] Choice for Vets.’
And the U.S. ‘Became Number 1 in World & Independent in Energy’ on his watch, he said in a three-part tweet that bulged at the seams.
‘Will soon have record number of Judges, 2 SC Justices. Done more than any President in first 2 1/2 years despite phony & fraudulent Witch Hunt illegally led against him. WIN on Mueller Report, Mueller Testimony & James Comey IG Report, which showed him to be a Disgraced & Dirty Cop,’ Trump continued.
‘Republicans have unified like never before. You don’t impeach Presidents for doing a good (great!) job. No Obstruction, No Collusion, only treasonous crimes committed by the other side, and led by the Democrats. Sad!’