Local Democratic Lawmakers Back Impeachment Inquiry

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SACRAMENTO -- Tuesday afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially opened an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump’s presidency.

She now has the backing of more than two-thirds of Democrats in the House.

“The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law,” Pelosi said.

Before Speaker Pelosi’s announcement, many Democratic members of Congress, including those representing Northern California, were on the fence about impeachment.

By Tuesday, every single Democrat from the Sacramento region expressed support for opening an impeachment inquiry.

“My take of everything we know today is we will have no choice,” said Congressman John Garamendi, D-Davis.

Members like Rep. Garamendi said once news broke that the president pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son, it left Congress no other option.

“Leveraging Ukraine to manufacture dirt on Biden, that is just absolutely beyond anything we’ve seen,” Garamendi said.

But is it a smart political move or will calls for impeachment backfire on Democrats in competitive 2020 races, like freshman Congressman Josh Harder from Modesto?

“There are many seats that are marginal seats,” said Republican consultant and former Ronald Reagan administration official Doug Elmets. “That’s why she (Pelosi) was reluctant.”

Elmets acknowledges the call for an inquiry into the president may be unpopular in some places but said it’s possible it could pay off for Democrats.

“If they play their cards right in the minds of people when they go into the polling booth, do they want to elect somebody who has been impeached?” he said.

One thing is clear in the minds of both Democrats and Republicans, Tuesday is “a critical moment in the history of the United States,” Garamendi said.

“It is remembered in history,” Elmets said.

There are several Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy from the Central Valley, who think this move is playing right into the president’s hands and might elevate him to a win in 2020.

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