Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D) on Thursday became the latest member of the Virginia congressional delegation to call for an impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
Connolly, who is serving his sixth term in Congress, is so far the longest-serving Virginia representative to call for impeachment.
He follows Democratic Reps. Don Beyer and Jennifer Wexton in Virginia and more than 100 other House members who support opening an impeachment inquiry into whether the president committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
In a lengthy statement, Connolly said he made the decision based on the gravity of the revelations in the report from former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, the Trump administration’s repeated defiance of congressional subpoenas, Trump’s use of the office for personal enrichment and the president’s incendiary language.
“We stand at a perilous moment for our country,” he said. “No individual should be above the law. No individual should act the way this president behaves without consequence. No administration should be allowed to disregard the Constitution at their whim.”
Connolly said he believes the Justice Department was wrong in declining to indict Trump for the 10 instances of obstruction detailed in the report. He also objects to the administration stymieing congressional probes into efforts to add a citizenship question to the census and what he called the “cruel and inhumane” child separation policy at the border with Mexico.
Connolly also takes issue with the level of Trump’s discourse, including his labeling of American communities as “infested,” his tweeting that four congresswomen should “go back” to where they came from and what Connolly called Trump’s stoking of white supremacy.
“At every moment, whether it was in the aftermath of Charlottesville or El Paso or Dayton, he has failed to heal our country and call us to our better angels. Instead, he has stained the Oval Office with his racism, xenophobia and bigotry,” Connolly said of Trump.
Connolly has helped lead investigations against Trump as a senior member of the House Oversight Committee. He also serves as chair of the subcommittee responsible for oversight of the U.S. Postal Service, the Census Bureau and issues affecting the District of Columbia, such as statehood.
His district includes parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties and the City of Fairfax.
Before joining Congress in 2009, he was chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.