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“Now is the time to act”: John Lewis calls for Trump’s impeachment

“I have been patient,” Lewis said in a speech on the House floor. But now he says, “We cannot delay. We must not wait.”

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump in a dramatic speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, giving voice to a growing list of House Democrats calling for an inquiry into the president’s interactions with a foreign leader.

“I have been patient while we tried every other path, and used every other tool,” Lewis said. “We will never find the truth unless we use the power given to the House of Representatives, and the House alone, to begin an official investigation as dictated by the Constitution.”

Lewis said he understood the importance of caution, and said there is a time and place for the sorts of investigations into possible presidential misconduct currently underway in the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees. But he expressed frustration with the pace of that work, and said he was swayed to support the start of impeachment, and not just by Trump’s actions on a July call with Ukraine. (In that call, the president has said he brought up Joe Biden with Ukraine’s president, and some lawmakers fear he pushed that country to investigate the former vice president, despite there being no evidence there is any basis for an investigation.)

Lewis said he had been moved by the concerns of his constituents and other Americans. “People approach me everywhere I go, whether I’m traveling back and forth to Atlanta or around our country, they believe, they truly believe that our nation is descending into darkness,” he said. “The people have a right to inquire, they have a right to know, the people have a right to know whether they can put their faith and trust in the outcome of our election.”

And the representative also argued that, although the Justice Department may state that a sitting president cannot be indicted, Congress must prove that the president is nevertheless bound by laws: “The people of this nation realize that if they had committed even a half of the possible violations, the federal government would be swift to seek justice. We cannot delay. We must not wait. Now is the time to act.”

By Sean Collins