Rep. Judy Chu, whose 27th Congressional District includes South Pasadena, this week called for an impeachment inquiry into President Trump, saying last week’s testimony by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller presented “clear evidence” the president obstructed justice.
“When Special Counsel Mueller testified before Congress, he reiterated clear evidence that President Trump obstructed justice, and that if Trump were not the president, he would be on trial,’’ Chu, a Democrat, said in a written release to the media.
“The next day,” Chu added, “the Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan report on foreign interference in the 2016 election, confirming that Russia targeted election systems in every single state in our country. These threats undermine our democracy, and Donald Trump repeatedly attempted to obstruct the federal investigation into them.’’
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives would have to initiate any impeachment proceedings, and there is debate within the party’s caucus about whether to go that route. The president would then stand trial in the Senate, which is Republican-controlled.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, while highly critical of Trump, has been hesitant to call for an impeachment probe, though others in her caucus have done so.
Chu is now one of them.
“I believe it is time for Congress to open an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump,” said Chu, also a longtime critic of the president on other matters, particularly immigration.
“The proceedings must be deliberate and transparent. We have a sacred duty as members of Congress to ensure that nobody is above the law. To do nothing given what we know is unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, in other recent announcements, Chu called for the extension of protections for Syrian refugees in the United States, and for a national $15 minimum wage.
In regard to the Syrian refugees, Chu signed a bipartisan letter urging the acting heads of the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to extend the refugees’ Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
The letter, addressed to Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli, said 7,000 Syrian individuals in the U.S. could be sent back to a still-dangerous Syria if TPS, which was last extended by 18 months on April 1, 2018, is allowed to expire on Sept. 30.
Previously, Chu had written a letter to Trump urging him to allow more refugees from war-torn Syria.
“The brutal civil war in Syria, which has been raging for years, recently entered a more deadly phase, leading to more displacement and death than any other period in the war,’’ Chu said.
“We have enormous capacity in America to not only take in, but benefit from, refugees from all over the world. I urge President Trump to do the right thing and extend TPS to prevent sending these families back to a country we have determined is too dangerous to even visit.”
As for the minimum-wage issue, Chu voted for the first increase in the federal minimum wage in 10 years by passing H.R. 582 — the Raise the Wage Act, which would gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
California is already set to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by Jan. 1, 2023.
“The federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised in 10 years, even as the economy has grown and prices have risen, meaning that workers who work hard as many as six or seven days a week are still struggling to pay their bills, or even stay in their homes,’’ Chu said.
“Raising the minimum wage will also help close the wage gap that holds women and minorities back. It’s time we take care of our workers.”