PHOENIX—Rep. Greg Stanton, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, today issued the following statement regarding the House opening an impeachment inquiry: 

It is time for the House of Representatives to move to the next stages of holding the President accountable, including the extraordinary step of opening an impeachment inquiry.  This is a conclusion I reached only recently, and not one I reached lightly. 

The Special Counsel’s redacted report detailed Russia’s sweeping attack on America’s democracy.  Yet the President has refused to defend our nation and leaves us vulnerable to further attack.  In fact, to this day, the President curiously accepts Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of interference at face value.  The Special Counsel also uncovered significant evidence that the President obstructed justice but was prohibited by Department of Justice policy from filing charges.  If the evidence the Special Counsel discovered is accurate, I believe it surpasses the Constitutional threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Since the release of the Special Counsel’s report, the President and his Administration have sought to undermine the checks and balances that are the foundation of our democracy.  The President defied lawful requests from Congress and attempted to exempt himself and his Administration from oversight by claiming an extraordinary and overly-broad interpretation of executive privilege—an interpretation that no court has recognized.  No person is above the law, and the situation we find ourselves in is solely a result of the President’s own actions.

I accept that this conclusion will be unpopular with some, but it is the right thing to do.  I swore an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies—foreign and domestic—and Congress must now use all means necessary to protect it and the rule of law.

With the election of this Congress, the American people sent a clear message that they expect us to perform oversight duties as well as make positive policy changes to improve people’s lives.  We can, and must, do both.  Make no mistake, I remain committed to that goal and will continue to fight every day to strengthen Arizona’s economy, invest in smart and much-needed infrastructure, expand access to affordable health care, and make our communities safe.