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Saturday, July 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Rep. Adam Smith calls for impeachment inquiry

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, says it’s time for Congress to open an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. (AP)
Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, says it’s time for Congress to open an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. (AP)
By David Gutman Seattle Times

A second member of Washington’s congressional delegation is calling for an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Rep Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, said Friday that the events of the past several weeks have changed his stance and he now believes it’s time to begin an inquiry.

“Congressman Smith believes we must move forward with an impeachment inquiry,” Shana Chandler, Smith’s chief of staff, said. “President Trump has continued his efforts to obstruct justice and undermine Congress as a coequal branch of government and proceeding with an impeachment inquiry — the first step in a lengthy and difficult process — is the best way to demand accountability from this administration.”

Smith joins Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, as the lone members of Washington’s delegation to call for the beginning of impeachment proceedings.

Washington’s seven other Democratic members of Congress have all had harsh words for Trump and his administration’s refusal to cooperate with House investigations, but have stopped short of calling for the start of the impeachment process.

Smith, last month, while not calling for an impeachment inquiry, said “we need to prepare to begin impeachment proceedings.” He said the most important thing was to get Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify in public “so that the American people have an understanding of exactly what his report found.”

Since then, Mueller issued a public statement saying that federal rules meant charging Trump with a crime was “not an option,” but he answered no questions and House Democrats have been rebuffed in their efforts to get him to testify.

There are now more than 70 House Democrats who have called for an impeachment inquiry, according to a New York Times tracker, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declined to go along.

“I don’t think you should have an inquiry unless you’re ready to impeach,” Pelosi told reporters this week. “I feel no pressure from my members to do anything. And I have no pressure on them to do anything.”

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