Foster, Krishnamoorthi Voice Support for Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump

U.S. Reps. Bill Foster and Raja Krishnamoorthi, both Democrats of Illinois, joined more than 100 other members of the House of Representatives this week in voicing their support for an impeachment investigation or inquiry into President Donald Trump.

"I take no pleasure in announcing my support for the House to begin an impeachment inquiry into the President of the United States," Foster said in a statement on Wednesday. "I have wrestled with this decision over the past several months as I’ve listened to my constituents and reviewed the evidence presented by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, including his direct testimony to Congress."

Foster said that as a member of the House Financial Services Committee, he had seen Trump "attempt to block legitimate Congressional investigations into the role of foreign money in transactions by the Trump Organization, Deutsche Bank, and others."

Krishnamoorthi also cited his position on two House committees examining Trump's conduct as informing his support for an impeachment investigation, saying he had reviewed numerous documents, both classified and unclassified, as well as questioned multiple witnesses including Mueller himself.

"Despite the Trump Administration’s refusal to provide requested witnesses and documents in our ongoing investigations, we have still uncovered serious, troubling evidence of unethical and illegal behavior by the President," Krishnamoorthi's statement on Monday reads.

"We have now come to a point where we must engage in an investigation to not only expose wrongdoing and prevent it from happening again, but also to determine whether the current President engaged in behavior meriting the beginning of impeachment proceedings," Krishnamoorthi continued. "I come to this conclusion with a heavy heart, and it is not a conclusion I relish or desire, but if the 'rule of law' is to have any meaning in this country, it is the only appropriate course of action."

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York, filed a lawsuit in federal court last month asking a judge to enforce congressional subpoenas for grand jury information and witness testimony from Mueller's investigation - a move that he has since publicly called "formal impeachment proceedings."

Krishnamoorthi said Nadler last week requested evidence collected by his committees as part of his investigation, which he called "essentially an impeachment inquiry" and said he fully supports.

In his statement, Foster appeared to support an impeachment inquiry even more broadly than solely the investigation spearheaded by Nadler, who Foster did not mention by name.

"I have watched with horror as President Trump has perpetrated an assault on American values," Foster said. "In word and deed, President Trump has demonstrated an utter disregard for the rule of law and the fundamental principles that make up the foundation of our democracy."

Foster added that Mueller's more than 400-page report details "several occasions - at least ten - where President Trump took actions to obstruct the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 elections."

"Under our system of checks and balances, no person – not even the President – should be above the law or immune from facing the consequences of their actions," Foster's statement ended.

Although Nadler has called his committee's investigation "impeachment proceedings," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has herself remained opposed to moving toward impeachment, a politically-risky move that would be poised to fail in the Senate, there requiring a two-thirds majority vote to convict.

Now including Foster and Krishnamoorthi, at least 132 members of the House support an impeachment inquiry, according to NPR - constituting a majority of the 235-person House Democratic Caucus.

Last week, both Reps. Brad Schneider and Lauren Underwood also publicly expressed their support for an impeachment investigation or inquiry.

Foster, Krishnamoorthi, Schneider and Underwood join fellow Illinois Democrats Reps. Sean Casten, Jan Schakowsky, Bobby Rush, Robin Kelly, Danny Davis, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Mike Quigley in calling for or supporting an impeachment inquiry in some form.

Just two Democrats from Illinois' Congressional delegation - Reps. Dan Lipinski and Cheri Bustos - have said they don't support an impeachment inquiry yet, and none of Illinois' five House Republicans have said they would back one in any form.

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