(Updated 11 p.m.) U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal called Tuesday on the U.S. House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
The recommendation comes in the wake of a whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump made promises to a foreign leader believed to be Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The decision to call for impeachment came just days after Murphy called for a congressional inquiry into whether Trump and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, attempted to influence the 2020 election earlier this year by pressuring the Ukrainian government to investigate the Ukrainian business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of 2020 Democratic presidential contender and former Vice President Joe Biden.
In a statement Tuesday, Murphy called the allegations — some of which Trump has himself confirmed — “an intolerable abuse of power and totally anathema to the rule of law.”
“If we allow President Trump to get away with trading our influence abroad in order to advance his political interests, our nation’s standing in the world will suffer irreparable damage and the health of our democracy at home will suffer a potentially mortal blow,” he said.
Murphy recommended that the House ensure that the pending whistleblower complaint filed with the inspector general of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) be presented in full to Congress and that Congress undertake an investigation into “the Trump administration’s demands that the Ukrainian government become agents of the president’s political agenda” as part of its impeachment proceedings.
Blumenthal castigated Trump over the allegations and said that he had come to the decision to recommend impeachment proceedings with sadness and anger.
“(The president’s) seeking corrupt assistance from a foreign leader for personal political gain crosses the line,” said Blumenthal. “This illegal misuse of the presidency for private benefit is an impeachable act. This most recent lawbreaking follows three years of contemptuous disregard for the Constitution.”
Murphy and Blumenthal, who were both previously reluctant to endorse impeachment proceedings against the president, are the latest members of Congress to call for Trump’s impeachment in light of his communications with Zelensky. On Monday, four of Connecticut’s House members voiced their support for the possibility of impeachment proceedings, including U.S. Reps. Jim Himes, John Larson, Rosa DeLauro, and Joe Courtney. They were joined by U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes on Tuesday.
“The actions of this President lead me to no other conclusion than to support formal impeachment proceedings,” Hayes said in a statement Tuesday.
Before Tuesday, Himes was the only member of Connecticut’s congressional delegation to call for impeachment.
The Connecticut delegation joins a chorus of lawmakers on Capitol Hill calling for Trump’s impeachment. While Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has resisted heeding those calls for months, MSNBC reported late Monday that Pelosi spoke with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler earlier in the day about impeachment.
As of Tuesday morning, Pelosi had yet to comment about the growing pressure on the Hill for the House to begin impeachment proceedings.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, who had also been hesitant to support impeachment, said the House should move forward with the proceedings.