Progressive groups are expressing “deep disappointment” over House Democrats’ unwillingness to start impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump.
The groups said in a letter obtained by the Associated Press, that voters gave Democrats control of the House “because they wanted aggressive oversight of the Trump administration”. They are calling on speaker Nancy Pelosi to take action.
They said: “The Trump era will be one that evokes the question — what did you do? We urge you to use your power to lead and to stop asking us to wait.”
Dear Dems: You are badly misreading your tea leaves. Itâs June 2019. How do you think YOUR base will feel by June 2020 if you refuse to impeach Trump? How much longer do you believe you can hold the team together? The weight of our rage will crush you.— Pam Keith (@PamKeithFL) June 2, 2019
Ms Pelosi has been reluctant to launch impeachment proceedings, despite growing numbers of Democrats saying it is time to start a formal inquiry. She says impeachment requires more public support and would detract from the legislative agenda.
Instead, House Democrats are conducting dozens of investigations of the Trump administration, announced a series of new hearings and promised a vote next week to hold attorney general William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoenas.
But the groups, whose members include millions of Americans, say those being hurt by the Trump administration’s policies and behaviour do not have the privilege of waiting.
“There are people who feel Trump’s boot on their necks every single day,” said Heidi Hess, co-director at social change network Credo Action. “We expect moral leadership from you.”
Democrats canât impeach a Republican President for crimes committed by Democrats. The facts are âpouringâ in. The Greatest Witch Hunt in American History! Congress, go back to work and help us at the Border, with Drug Prices and on Infrastructure.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2019
The groups signing on to the letter to Ms Pelosi include Indivisible and Democracy for America.
“As Speaker of the House, you have the power to ensure Congress exercises its constitutional obligation to hold this president accountable,” the groups wrote.
Members of Congress returned to Washington after hearing mixed messages from voters at town halls. In more liberal districts, voters were quick to discuss impeachment. But in some conservative areas, it hardly came up at all as voters focused on health care, the economy and other issues.
Amid rising calls for action, majority leader Steny Hoyer announced the House will vote next week to hold Mr Barr and Mr McGahn in contempt for their failure to comply with the subpoenas.
Mr Hoyer said the administration’s “systematic refusal to provide Congress with answers and co-operate with congressional subpoenas is the biggest cover-up in American history”.
Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump â and we will do so. No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law. pic.twitter.com/iRBV2Z5dgq— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) May 29, 2019
The resolution scheduled for a June 11 vote will allow the Judiciary Committee to seek court enforcement of its subpoenas. Mr Barr has refused to turn over an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report. Mr McGahn has been directed by the White House to defy the subpoena requests.
Mr Trump has called Mr Mueller’s Russia investigation a “witch hunt” and has declared he “did nothing wrong”.