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Tonko calls for impeachment proceedings against Trump

Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y. | Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky.

June 04, 2019 10:47 AM

Rep. Paul Tonko has come out in favor starting the impeachment process against President Trump. He's the first member of Congress from the Capital Region to do so.

The Democrat from Amsterdam released a statement yesterday saying he believes former Special Counsel Robert Mueller intended for Congress take up the case.

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"After careful review of the evidence and testimony currently available, and in service to my oath, it is my judgment that Congress needs to accept the baton being handed to us by Mr. Mueller and open an impeachment inquiry to more fully assess the Constitutional implications of seemingly criminal actions by the President and his campaign, and to determine whether formal impeachment charges need to be filed," Tonko said in his statement.

Tonko went on to say that while he believes Congress must hold the president accountable, impeachment proceedings should not distract them for "other vital work." Among those issues, Tonko listed health care, climate change, and infrastructure.

FULL STATEMENT FROM REP. PAUL TONKO

After months spent allowing the President and Attorney General to mislead the American people, Special Counsel Mueller finally set the record straight last week regarding his investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 election. Mueller’s statement made clear that he felt, no matter the findings of his investigation, that he could not pursue criminal charges against the President due to an official Department of Justice policy, and not as a result of any legal assessment by himself or his office of the underlying crimes his team uncovered. Mr. Mueller went so far as to say that “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.” This comment can only be understood to mean that this Constitutional responsibility rests with Congress.

The integrity of our elections and equality before the law have long stood as cornerstones of American free society. Upon taking office, I swore an oath to uphold our Constitution and put duty to the United States and the American people before any matters of political convenience. After careful review of the evidence and testimony currently available, and in service to my oath, it is my judgment that Congress needs to accept the baton being handed to us by Mr. Mueller and open an impeachment inquiry to more fully assess the Constitutional implications of seemingly criminal actions by the President and his campaign, and to determine whether formal impeachment charges need to be filed.

While I believe Congress must perform our Constitutional duty to hold the President accountable, this effort must not and will not distract us from our other vital work improving healthcare protections for all Americans, confronting the growing climate crisis, taking real steps to safeguard future elections, investing in America’s infrastructure including making sure all Americans have access to clean, safe drinking water, and much more.

Credits

Chris Rooney

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