rep john lewis house floor 092419
Rep. Lewis joins Dems calling for impeachment inquiry
01:04 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis on Tuesday announced his support for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump amid reports that Trump pressured Ukraine’s President to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

“We cannot delay. We must not wait. Now is the time to act. I have been patient while we tried every other path and used every other tool. We will never find the truth unless we use the power given to the House of Representatives and the House alone to begin an official investigation as dictated by the Constitution. The future of our democracy is at stake,” Lewis said in a speech on the House floor.

He continued: “I believe, I truly believe, the time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come. To delay, or to do otherwise, would betray the foundation of our democracy.”

The comments from Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and longtime respected member of the Democratic caucus, come as members of his party are increasingly calling for the House to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump. Lewis’ remarks could help increase support for impeachment, particularly among members of the Congressional Black Caucus, of which the congressman is a member.

Congressional Democrats have been urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has so far been reluctant to support impeachment proceedings, to change her mind on the issue in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to block the release to Congress of a whistleblower complaint. The July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump pressured the leader, according to a person familiar with the situation, was part of the complaint submitted to the Intelligence Community Inspector General, another person familiar with the situation told CNN.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe Biden or his son Hunter Biden.

On Monday, Pelosi, a California Democrat, offered a fresh sign she’s easing from her resistance during a brief interview with CNN, saying the House “will have no choice” but to ultimately initiate an impeachment inquiry. She did not say whether the move toward impeachment could be slowed if the White House provided the whistleblower’s report.

CNN’s Manu Raju and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.