As the calls for impeachment have grown louder in the Democratic caucus in spite of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s objections, one notable name has been absent: Rep. John Lewis, the legendary civil rights activist, longtime liberal congressman, and top Pelosi ally. On Tuesday, Lewis forcefully added his name to the ranks.
In a three-and-a-half-minute speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Lewis cited being “deeply concerned about the future of our democracy” as a reason for his coming around on impeachment.
“Every turn, this administration demonstrates complete disdain and disregard for ethics, for the law and for the Constitution,” Lewis said. “The people have a right to inquire, they have a right to know whether they can put their faith and trust in the outcome of our elections. They have a right to know whether the cornerstone of our democracy was undermined by people sitting in the White House today. They have a right to know whether a foreign power was asked to intervene in the 2020 election.
“We cannot delay. We must not wait. Now is the time to act,” Lewis said. “I have patient while we’ve tried every other path and used every other tool. 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.”
After Pelosi threatened a “whole new stage of investigation” over the weekend if the administration continued to block the release of a whistleblower’s complaint about Trump, the Washington Post reported on Monday night that Pelosi is moving closer to impeachment, saying she was “sounding out” allies on whether it was time to make a move. (She has a press conference scheduled for 4 p.m. ET today.) And while over 150 House Democrats have called for impeachment thus far, perhaps no other figure in the Democratic Party is as widely revered as John Lewis.
Given that, plus Lewis’ ties to Pelosi and the avalanche of support for impeachment proceedings coming even from moderate Democrats in swing seats, it appears as though the walls are finally closing in on impeachment.
“The future of our democracy is at stake,” Lewis concluded in his remarks. “There are times where you have to be moved by the spirit of history to take action to protect and preserve the integrity of our nation. I believe—I truly believe—the time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come. To delay or to do otherwise would betray the foundation of our democracy.”