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Reps. Angie Craig, Dean Phillips join calls for Trump impeachment inquiry

The president is under pressure for a phone call with Ukrainian officials.

UPDATE NOON:

Minnesota's U.S. Sen. Tina Smith has now joined the calls for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump in a statement issued Tuesday morning.

Here's her statement:

“I support the House beginning impeachment proceedings, as a matter of national security, and protecting the rule of law and our Constitution.

“Amid reports that the President asked or even actively pressured Ukraine, a foreign government, to interfere in our country’s democracy by undermining a political opponent, we must fully and fairly open a process to lay out all the facts.

“Such an inquiry—which is different from removal from office—is serious. Impeachment is the only way in our system of constitutional checks and balances to establish whether a President has abused his power and put his own interests ahead of our national security and the rule of law. My job as Senator is to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law, and I must fulfill my responsibility to listen to all the evidence before making a final judgement.”

Original story

Two Minnesota's representatives have joined the growing calls for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Rep. Angie Craig, representing the 2nd District, and Rep. Dean Phillips, representing the 3rd District, are among the moderate Democrats in the U.S. House.

Both have resisted calls for impeachment against the president until now, despite the Special Counsel's probe finding suggestions of obstruction, and the ongoing controversy over the emoluments clause that prevents a sitting president receiving benefits from foreign entities as a result of their office.

But both Craig and Phillips have been spurred into action by reports that the president asked the Ukrainian government on multiple occasions to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, who is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.

Rep. Phillips said that the latest allegation against the president "continues a pattern of behavior that is corrupt at best, treasonous at worst, and puts our rule of law at risk."

"Our Constitution transcends any person, politician, or political party, and I call on the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees to use every legal mechanism possible to obtain all relevant evidence," he added. "If the reports are corroborated, we must pursue articles of impeachment and report them to the full House of Representatives for immediate consideration."

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In her statement, Rep. Craig said: "It is clear that the sitting president of the United States placed his own personal interests above the national security of the United States.

"When there is an abuse of power of this magnitude, it is our responsibility to stand up for what is right. This is why I am calling to open impeachment proceedings — immediately, fairly and impartially."

Other Minnesota members of Congress to call for an impeachment inquiry include Reps. Ilhan Omar and Betty McCollum and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The only Democrats in the Minnesota caucus not to back the move thus far are Sen. Tina Smith (see update above) and Rep. Collin Peterson.

Klobuchar, who is a rival of Biden's for the presidential candidacy, said in June she backed impeachment proceedings against President Trump when he said he'd listen if a foreign government offer compromising information against a political opponent.

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