Pocan joins lawmakers calling for impeachment

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BELOIT - The number of House lawmakers in Washington calling for an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump is growing, including Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, who says investigations into the president needed to move forward.

Pocan took part in a private Democratic meeting on Wednesday in Washington in which Democrat lawmakers were briefed on the status of the six ongoing investigations into Trump and his associates stemming from the Trump-Russia special counsel investigation.

"That was two-thirds of the meeting and then some members were asked what was the straw that was breaking the camel's back," Pocan said in an interview with the Beloit Daily News.

For Pocan, who called for impeachment proceedings to begin on Tuesday, that straw was Trump barring former White House counsel Don McGahn from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee earlier on Tuesday. Over 30 House lawmakers have called for an impeachment inquiry to begin, with many making the call following McGahn refusal to testify.

"He's covering this stuff up over and over again, and it just doesn't pass the smell test," Pocan said, referring to the president. "More and more members are saying we have to start an inquiry because it seems to be the best way to compel witnesses to come forward to get the American people the information they deserve."

Shortly after the meeting, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said Trump was "engaged in a cover up," a comment that Trump proceeded to use to walk out of a scheduled meeting on infrastructure with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York. Trump later said he would not negotiate with Democrats, who control the House, as long as investigations into his administration continue.

"This isn't even rhetoric, it's behavior of a four-year-old," Pocan said. "It's clearly the problem we are having the with president. No one is above the law. It's clear the president is going to continue to obstruct and cover up."

Pocan said since Tuesday morning he's heard only strong support from constituents following his impeachment call.

"A common thing I've heard people are saying is that it's about time," Pocan said.

Going forward, Pocan said Democrats would continue to invite witnesses to testify and survey all legal options on the table.

"At some point we can't let the clock run out," Pocan said. "We have to get that information out to the public. Enough is enough."

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