Two top Democrats in the Senate – Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) – expressed support for House Democrats to push an impeachment inquiry, signaling a shift within the Senate Democratic Caucus.
Democrats in the Senate have been visibly less eager to support a sweeping impeachment inquiry, but Murray and Stabenow’s move suggests a shift may be underway.
Murray released a statement Sunday, openly supporting the lower chamber’s efforts to pursue impeachment.
The statement read:
I agree with my fellow members of the Washington delegation that, as we have learned about the gravity of the potential threats to our democracy identified in special counsel Mueller’s report, it has become clear that the House should begin proceedings to determine whether the president’s action necessitate impeachment.
Stabenow followed, citing the “extremely serious” Mueller report and Democrats’ mounting questions on obstruction of justice.
“The Mueller report is extremely serious. Obstruction of justice is extremely serious. And it’s worthy of an inquiry. Nobody is above the law. The president’s not above the law,” Stabenow said, according to Politico.
Murray also mentioned obstruction of justice, telling reporters that it is “not just about this president but it’s about what bar we have for presidents in the future about obstruction of justice.”
“And secondly I am deeply concerned … that Russia did interfere in our elections. This president has flouted that,” Murray said, according to Politico. “The House should begin proceedings, we’ll see where that leads.”
All eyes are on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), who have yet to explicitly endorse or push House impeachment efforts. According to Politico, Durbin “said he was unaware of Murray’s position,” and Schumer “said he was ‘not commenting’ on the matter.”
Schumer has largely taken Pelosi’s position on matters related to impeachment.
“We ought to get the full report unredacted, get the underlying documentation, have Mueller come testify, and then we can make decisions on where to go,” Schumer said in April.
“We need to see the whole truth. Then we’ll make decisions on impeachment,” he added, echoing the speaker.
Stabenow’s plea makes 12 Democrats in the Senate who have explicitly supported House impeachment efforts. Nearly half of House Democrats support impeachment, following four Washington state representatives – Reps. Denny Heck, Kim Schrier, Suzan DelBene, and Derek Kilmer – coming out in favor of the inquiry Sunday. At this point, 107 House Democrats support impeachment, “just 11 lawmakers away from the majority of the House Democrat caucus,” Breitbart News reported.
Democrat Rep. Al Green (D-TX) filed articles of impeachment against the president earlier this month, but 137 House Democrats and one independent killed the effort, siding with the GOP to table the measure.