Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, one of a small group of House Democrats who had not yet publicly stated their support for an impeachment inquiry, announced on Thursday that in light of recent actions by President Donald Trump and his administration she’s in favor of proceedings.
“Earlier this week, the President and his administration made it clear to New Mexicans that they are not committed to finding the truth,” the New Mexico Democrat wrote in an op-ed in the Las Cruces Sun-News announcing her support for an inquiry.
The congresswoman argues that the President and the administration “took unprecedented steps to prevent the facts from coming forward,” when “the White House and the State Department stopped a key witness from testifying before Congress and the White House issued a letter refusing to cooperate at all with the investigation.”
Earlier this week, the State Department directed US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland not to testify before Congress. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff on Tuesday called the move “strong evidence of obstruction” of Democrats’ impeachment investigation, and House Democrats issued a subpoena in response.
Also on Tuesday, the White House sent a letter to congressional Democrats in which Trump’s lawyers said the President and his administration won’t cooperate in an ongoing impeachment inquiry, arguing that the proceedings amount to an illegitimate effort to overturn the 2016 election results.
In her op-ed, the congresswoman states, “Tuesday’s actions by the President and the administration left me with no other way to get the information the country deserves than to support an impeachment inquiry.”
The congresswoman adds, however, “To be very clear, I have not reached judgment on the President’s actions, nor on the appropriate response, but I need the facts to make these weighty decisions.”
The New Mexico Democrat is one of the House Democratic freshmen who flipped a congressional seat from red to blue in the 2018 midterm elections.
Her announcement comes as House Democrats pursue an impeachment inquiry into the President’s dealings with Ukraine after a whistleblower complaint alleged that Trump pressured Ukraine to solicit interference in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
Trump and Republicans have called on the House to hold a formal vote to open the impeachment inquiry, a step that isn’t required by House rules and one House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has so far resisted doing, though she has not yet ruled it out.
After the release of the complaint and the transcript of a call Trump had with the Ukrainian president, a significant number of House Democrats in battleground and swing districts came out in support of an impeachment inquiry, an indication that the dynamic within the House Democratic caucus had shifted as support for the inquiry gained momentum. To date, at least 228 of the 235 members of the House Democratic Caucus have stated their support for the inquiry.
According to a CNN count, that means there are now only seven House Democrats who have not yet said they support an impeachment inquiry.