Half of the Democrats California sent to Congress are ready to open impeachment hearings

U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, on Friday announced his support for opening hearings that could lead to the impeachment of President Donald Trump. With Carbajal’s support, half of California’s U.S. House delegation — and half of all House Democrats — now support launching impeachment proceedings.

“We cannot ignore this president’s actions, and we cannot let him off the hook because of his title. I was elected to support and defend our Constitution against all threats, foreign and domestic. That is what I will continue to do,” Carbajal said in a statement released Friday.

According to whip counts from CNN, Huff Post and Axios, 118 House Democrats — including 26 from California — and independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan now support launching impeachment proceedings. Another 118 Democrats, and all 198 Republicans, either oppose, or have declined to comment on, impeachment.

Among the California Democrats to voice their support for impeachment are three freshmen representative

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The other four new California Democrats — Gil Cisneros of Yorba Linda, TJ Cox of Fresno, Katie Hill of Agua Dulce and Josh Harder of Turlock — have not called for impeachment hearings.

While half of California’s 53 representatives now favor impeachment, there’s one key California congresswoman who does not.

Without support from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, it is unlikely that the House will vote on impeachment. Pelosi has been reluctant to support the process.

“When we go down this path, we want it to be unifying for our country, not divided. And that’s why we want it to be the strongest possible case,” Pelosi said after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.