Michigan Representatives including Slotkin and Stevens add their voices to calls for impeachment of President Trump.
Photography via U.S. Government
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi formally announced Tuesday evening that congress would be opening an impeachment inquiry into the actions of President Donald Trump.
“The president must be held accountable,” Pelosi said. “No one is above the law.”
Pelosi, who’s been reluctant to call for impeachment, said that allegations that the president used his political office to pressure a foreign government to investigate his political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, and allegedly exerted pressure on the Ukrainian government by withholding $250 million in funding for military aid were a threat to national security and the constitution.
The momentum for the announcement came throughout the day as several prominent Democrats such as Georgia’s John Lewis and freshmen Democrats running in competitive districts came out in support of impeachment — including Michigan Democrats Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens, who, until this week, had not publicly supported impeachment proceedings against the president. Both of their districts were previously held by Republicans.
In a statement, Stevens wrote: “Over the last several days, I have been deeply alarmed by reports of serious abuse of power by President Trump … If investigations confirm recent reports, these actions represent impeachable offenses that threaten to undermine the integrity of our elections and jeopardize the balance of power within the federal government.”
In an op-ed published Sept. 23, Slotkin wrote, “If these allegations are true, or if the White House refuses to clear up these allegations, the Congress has no choice but to consider all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of inherent contempt and impeachment hearings, to protect our national security. We must make exceptionally clear that this behavior cannot stand.”
The following day, in an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition, Slotkin acknowledged the potential political risk but said, “It doesn’t matter” despite voters in her district being divided on impeachment.
“I get pulled over in the supermarket by people talking about it and saying go ahead and do it,” said Slotkin, who sometimes attends services at Temple Israel with her parents, “and I’ve been pulled over by just as many people saying please don’t do it.”
But, she told NPR, “no matter whether you’re a Democrat or an independent or a Republican, the idea that a sitting president would attempt to leverage dirt on a political opponent from a foreign leader is just beyond the pale. It’s a game-changer. It’s something different and we have to acknowledge it as thus.”