Democratic Congressman Jason Crow

AURORA | Citing the investigation from former special counsel Robert Mueller, Aurora Congressman Jason Crow said Tuesday that Congress should now look into impeaching President Donald Trump.

“Trump and his administration have engaged in repeated abuses of power and disregarded our institutions, while flaunting Congress and the judiciary,” Crow said in an op-ed published first to Medium on Tuesday. “To this day the President prevents key witnesses from testifying before Congress, wrongly asserts executive privilege to dodge subpoenas, and attempts to skirt court rulings. If Congress doesn’t stand up to these abuses, then our system of checks and balances will have failed. It’s clear that we must respond with the full weight of Congress.”

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Democratic Congressman Jason Crow

Crow went on, “Let me be clear: impeachment must be the last course of action, not the first,” he wrote. “We must be deliberate about the inquiry process and give the American people full confidence in the process and the ultimate decision.” 

Crow, who has said he’s made a point to work with Republicans in Congress, joins a growing number of Democrats leaning toward beginning impeachment proceedings. Nearly half of the 235 House Democrats have endorsed impeachment proceedings, and a dozen Democratic senators have done so. It’s unclear whether the governing body will even make a vote.

The House recessed Friday for a six-week summer break without opening impeachment proceedings, the Democrats no closer to taking a vote than they were when they swept to power at the start of the year, a searing blow to liberals in the aftermath of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s halting testimony on Capitol Hill.

Yet, the House Judiciary Committee filed a fresh lawsuit Friday, its lawyers arguing they need documents from the Trump administration as they pursue questions of impeachment. It mentions the word impeachment 76 times.

The committee chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, said his panel is pressing ahead with investigating the president, with or without a formal House vote.

“I think too much has been made of the phrase impeachment inquiry,” Nadler said Friday.

“We are using our full Article I powers to investigate the conduct of the president and to consider what remedies there are,” he said, referring to the Constitution. “Among other things we will consider are obviously recommending articles of impeachment.”

The action underscores the tensions among a House majority that’s trying to have it both ways, preserving the idea of impeachment while avoiding a potentially risky vote.

A spokesman for the Colorado Republican Party slammed Crow’s announcement as not aligning with a majority of Americans.

“Jason Crow is joining the impeachment bandwagon despite opposition from a clear majority of Americans,” the spokesman said. “Instead of pursuing baseless conspiracy theories with his socialist colleagues, Crow should get back to work on issues like the USMCA (United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement) that actually matter to middle class families.”

Crow said his announcement was the result of months of studying the Mueller report and watching the testimony last week.

“I’ve said for many months I wanted mueller to come in and testify,” Crow said. “We should uphold a process thats transparent and fair…I want to make sure we’re showing people in Colorado and 6th Congressional District government can work.”

While taking time to weigh the reports and community input, Crow said he respects his “colleagues who struggle with this decision,” acknowledging that impeachment proceedings have been divisive even among Democrats in Congress.

At home, he’s garnered the support of the state party.

“There’s no question that from Donald Trump, we have seen the most egregious and impeachable conduct by a sitting President in modern history,” said Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll in a statement. “Congressional investigations have shown that Trump’s corruption goes farther than realized, so an impeachment inquiry is necessary to find out what else Trump is hiding from the American people.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.