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Win or lose, Jayapal says it's time to impeach Trump

caption: Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (7th District)  at her Seattle office, July 31, 2019.
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Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (7th District) at her Seattle office, July 31, 2019.
KUOW Photo/Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Ahead of a House Judiciary Committee vote on details of an impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, two members made their case to a crowd in Seattle.

Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle and Jamie Raskin of Maryland gave a bit of a history course at Benaroya Hall on Saturday.

They walked through the three previous presidential impeachments — and what precedents could be relied on for a fourth.

Raskin and Jayapal took turns covering the three articles of impeachment their same Judiciary Committee leveled against Richard Nixon in 1972.

"This one I really like," Jayapal read, "'making misleading public statements to deceive the people of the United States about.... [audience interrupts with laughter] ... about this scandal and investigation.'"

Not everyone in the audience was sold on impeachment.

“I don't know. I'm scared of impeachment because I don't want Pence as the president," said Lynne Levine, referring to the vice president.

Levine, like many people at the event, said they want Democrats to stay focused on the 2020 election.

But Jayapal said an inquiry is already happening.

“We are already in the midst of an impeachment investigation," she said. "People seem to be confused about that, but the House Judiciary Committee is already in the midst of that.”

And with summer over, Democrats want to pick up the pace.

On Monday, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler set a vote for Thursday on how the panel will proceed on hearings.

Right now 134 representatives support impeachment. But 218 are needed to pass it out of the House and send it to the Republican-controlled Senate.

Either way, Jayapal said she's committed to seeing it through.

“In the end I don't think it's about whether we're successful or not," she said, "I think it's about carrying out our Constitutional duty.”

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