Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) announced his support for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Tuesday, becoming one of the highest-ranking members of Congress to do so.
“The American people want, and deserve, the truth. ... I believe the House must pursue a formal impeachment inquiry,” the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said in a statement.
Engel’s committee is one of six House panels already investigating the Trump administration ― in the congressman’s words, pushing to “get answers about Trump’s cozy relationship with Vladimir Putin, unconstitutional emoluments the President has received, and the President’s deep conflicts of interest around the world.”
The congressman’s statement suggested that former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony last week before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees was a factor in his joining the calls for a formal impeachment inquiry.
“The President abused the power of his office in an effort to stymie a legitimate investigation into his campaign’s involvement with Russia,” Engel wrote. “Mr. Mueller chose to follow Justice Department guidance that a sitting President can’t be indicted. The Constitution empowers Congress with checks and balances to address high crimes and misdemeanors by a sitting President.”
With Engel, there are now at least 112 members of Congress who have publicly said there should be an impeachment inquiry, which could look into the 10 episodes of Trump’s possible obstruction of justice outlined in Mueller’s report. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is not yet on board.
Engel faces a grassroots challenger in the Democratic primary next year: Bronx educator Jamaal Bowman. On Tuesday, Bowman tweeted in response to Engel’s announcement that his campaign has “been standing alongside the voters of our district who want to see Trump impeached.”