Hours before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, all 13 Texas Democrats in Congress said they were in favor of launching impeachment proceedings against the president or open to the idea.
The last six Texas holdouts — including two in vulnerable seats and one who backtracked after getting pushback from a primary opponent — joined a wave of Democrats who said Tuesday that they supported impeachment if Congress is not given a report on a whistleblower's complaint about Trump's contact with Ukraine's president.
U.S. Reps. Colin Allred of Dallas and Lizzie Fletcher of Houston — Republican targets in 2020 after flipping GOP seats in the 2018 election — joined the call Tuesday morning.
"The law is clear that the director of national intelligence must provide Congress with a report of the whistleblower's complaint," Allred said in a statement. "If he does not, and this administration continues to violate the law and obstruct Congress' constitutional duty, I will be forced to conclude that the only remaining option is for the House to begin impeachment proceedings."
By mid-morning, Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Houston told reporters that she is "leaning toward" impeachment, and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Dallas said she would support impeachment proceedings if the information is withheld from Congress.
Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, called for immediate action.
"While we are still gathering the full facts of what occurred between the president and the foreign leader, I believe Congress must act now in the face of our president's continued dangerous behavior," he said in a statement. "No one is above the law — not even the occupant of the highest office — and that is why I support moving forward with an impeachment inquiry."
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, was the last Texan to back impeachment proceedings Tuesday, falling into line after his primary challenger, Jessica Cisneros, pounced on his hesitation.
In a statement, Cuellar said that "if investigations prove that impeachment is the necessary course of action, then I will be forced to act on impeachment proceedings."
The 13 Texas Democrats join more than two-thirds of the 235-member House Democratic caucus who support some kind of action on impeachment, according to a count by multiple news outlets. A majority of House lawmakers must vote on articles of impeachment before the proceedings move to the Senate, where two-thirds must find the president guilty before he could can be removed.
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Also weighing in were Democratic presidential candidates Beto O'Rourke and Julian Castro, who both called on Trump to release the full whistleblower complaint.
And U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, repeated his demand to move forward with impeachment proceedings.
"We should fulfill our constitutional duty to hold Trump accountable for his lawlessness by beginning hearings on specific articles of impeachment," Doggett said, adding that anything less than the submission of the complete report "would represent further lawlessnesss and obstruction."
Texas Republicans have largely denounced impeachment talks, and U.S. Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Terrell, on Tuesday introduced a resolution to remove Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Gooden called the impeachment talks a "rogue witch-hunt" against Trump.
And the National Republican Congressional fired back at former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who is running to unseat freshman U.S. Rep Chip Roy, over her support for Congress to vote to begin the impeachment process.
"If (Davis) wanted to run for Congress as an impeachment-obsessed socialist, she probably should have moved to a district that Trump didn't win by double digits," the NRCC said in a statement, adding that she will "certainly lose in 2020 by a wide margin."
Texas Republican Party Chairman James Dickey called the growing chorus "a sad reflection of the Democrats putting party before country."
"The fact that Democrats want to criminalize bringing power to light is simply normal for them," he told the American-Statesman.