Pa. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon calls for Trump impeachment inquiry

House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) speaks during a mark-up hearing. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Freshman U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon has become the second member of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation to call for an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, potentially fueling further division among U.S. House Democrats who are split on the issue.

“Congress has patiently tried to work within traditional means to get to the bottom of this extraordinary situation. But, we have reached an inflection point,” Scanlon, D-5th District, said in a statement obtained by the Philadelphia Inquirer. “The President’s refusal to produce evidence or permit witness testimony defies not only the rule of law but the basic protections of our Constitution. No one is above the rule of law. The time has come to start an impeachment inquiry because the American people deserve to know the truth and to have the opportunity to judge the gravity of the evidence and charges leveled against the President.”

The Delaware County Democrat is vice chair of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, which would be responsible for overseeing an impeachment inquiry.

Along with U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-4th District, who also sits on the Judiciary Committee, Scanlon would be one of the potential House managers responsible for sending an impeachment referral to the U.S. Senate. Scanlon joins U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-3rd District, who called for an impeachment inquiry in 2017, the Inquirer reported.

Only freshmen, Pa. Reps. Dean and Scanlon could be on front lines of Trump impeachment

In an interview with the Capital-Star, Scanlon expressed frustration with what she said was “just continued stonewalling by this president.”

“… Congress has been very patient and has tried to use the tools that are available to us,” she continued. “And then the President has stonewalled without legal foundation. He’s now intimidating witnesses other than himself, people who are not employed by the government into not appearing.”

Scanlon was referencing former White House Counsel Don McGahn, whom Trump ordered not to appear before the Judiciary Committee.

“It’s sort of an accumulation of demerits, as they used to say in Catholic school,” Scanlon said.

Asked whether she thought her announcement signaled a shift in tone among House Democrats who have been bitterly divided on impeachment, Scanlon said she thought it was a “change in tone in the country.”

“I’ve talked to the many people who’ve said that over the last week or so, when they’ve been home … their constituents have changed their tone,” she said. “Whereas up until this point, we weren’t really hearing a lot from constituents when we’d have town halls. You know, people were concerned about their bread-and-butter, day-to-day-life issues. But people are starting to hear from constituents.”

An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.

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