There are still too many “ifs” and qualifiers in this, to be honest, but today Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda) announced that he now supports an impeachment inquiry into the alleged high crimes and misdemeanors of President Donald Trump. His turning point? New allegations–which Trump himself openly admitted to–that he put pressure on Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son (the charges against Biden’s son are, of course, bogus).
“If the evidence shows that President Trump pressured a foreign leader to investigate his political rival while using $391 million in foreign aid as leverage, then we need to move forward with an impeachment inquiry,” Cisneros said in a Sept. 24 email to supporters. “If true, these allegations are a direct threat to all I have sworn to protect.”
Cisneros also joined six other freshmen members of Congress in authoring a Washington Post op-ed urging the House to start impeachment hearings:
The president of the United States may have used his position to pressure a foreign country into investigating a political opponent, and he sought to use U.S. taxpayer dollars as leverage to do it. He allegedly sought to use the very security assistance dollars appropriated by Congress to create stability in the world, to help root out corruption and to protect our national security interests, for his own personal gain. These allegations are stunning, both in the national security threat they pose and the potential corruption they represent. We also know that on Sept. 9, the inspector general for the intelligence community notified Congress of a “credible” and “urgent” whistleblower complaint related to national security and potentially involving these allegations. Despite federal law requiring the disclosure of this complaint to Congress, the administration has blocked its release to Congress.
This flagrant disregard for the law cannot stand. To uphold and defend our Constitution, Congress must determine whether the president was indeed willing to use his power and withhold security assistance funds to persuade a foreign country to assist him in an upcoming election.
These are far stronger statements than what Cisneros was saying even a couple weeks ago. According to this Fullerton Observer piece on Cisneros’s Sept. 4 town hall gathering at Fullerton College, a member of the audience asked the representative if he supported impeachment. Here’s what Cisneros said, according to the Observer:
130 members of congress support an impeachment inquiry, and Judiciary Committee chairman [Jerry] Nadler said that is already going on. I continue to support all the work the Judiciary Committee is doing. When they gather all the necessary information/evidence and comes to the House and says, ‘Here’s the data.’ When we have a real case, we’ll go forward.
Only about half the Orange County Congressional delegation supported starting the impeachment process earlier this year, as this story from May shows. But as Trump continued to commit alleged crimes, and public support for impeachment rose, Congressional members–including those in difficult swing districts–started reassessing their positions.
Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) started backing an impeachment inquiry in June. Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) announced his support for an impeachment inquiry in July.
UPDATE: On Sept. 24, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Norwalk), who has mostly been quiet on possible impeachment, released this statement:
It has become glaringly clear that Trump used his official office, including threatening our taxpayer dollars, to look for dirt from a foreign counterpart just so he could try to undermine a political opponent. The most recent whistleblower complaint is a serious national security matter that requires our immediate attention, yet the Director of National Intelligence continues to withhold information, undermining Congress, the rule of law and our democracy.
Congress and the American people deserve to know whether the President encouraged a foreign country to interfere with the 2020 election. If it turns out that he did, I believe that President Trump must be impeached.
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.
One Reply to “UPDATED: Rep. Cisneros Calls For Trump Impeachment Inquiry”
I did not vote for you, and I was beginning to think you had the best intentions as a representative for the people of our district. Alas, you are calling for the impeachment. Your party has lost its mind.
I will be working actively to unseat you as our representative.
And this time, without the help of harvesting, I am pretty sure my mother will not be voting for you.
She died in 2015 and I am pretty sure her invalid vote was harvested as a vote for you.