Rep. Steve Cohen: Trump-Ukraine Call ‘an Affront’ to MLK’s Memory

US Congressman Steve Cohen (C), D-TN, speaks during the House Judiciary Committee's markup of House Resolution 755, Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on December 12, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), one of Congress’s most ardent supporters of impeachment, declared Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s phone call with the leader of Ukraine was “an affront” to civil rights icons such as Martin Luther King Jr.

Cohen issued the remark as the House Judiciary Committee debated the two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — unveiled by House Democrat leaders this week.

“It’s as if our founders could see into 2019 and when they did that saw Donald Trump corrupting our democracy by saying to President [Volodymyr] Zelensky of Ukraine, ‘I’d like you to do us a favor, though.’ President Trump’s subversive and illegal action in seeking foreign interference are an effrontery to our Constitution and free and fair elections,” he said.

“They’re an affront to Viola Liuzzo, a mother of five who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan while she was in Alabama to participate in the Selma to Montgomery march, and they’re an affront to the memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who championed the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” he added.

Cohen, who previously described President Trump as a “reckless gangster,” said late last month that the House could vote a second time to remove the president if evidence of wrongdoing was revealed.

“Things will come out for as long as he’s president and after he’s president. We will continue to pursue those issues, and we can still have hearings in Intel in Judiciary on actions he took that are violative of the Constitution, that are violative of law that affects our national security. All of those things can still be subject for hearings and possible— if there is something that comes out that’s impeachable, that doesn’t mean you can’t have another impeachment,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.

In late September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) unveiled a formal impeachment inquiry after a partisan CIA analyst alleged in a whistleblower complaint that President Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in exchange for U.S. military aid. Both President Trump and Zelensky have denied any pressure was applied and the White House released a transcript of their July 25 call as evidence that no wrongdoing took place.

A vote on impeachment is expected by the full House next week.

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