N.Y. Democrat: Scandal ‘a matter of urgent national interest’

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Hakeem Jeffries

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said Sunday that the Trump-Ukraine scandal is “a matter of urgent national concern” but dismissed White House calls for a formal vote on President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry.

The New York Democrat said on ABC‘s “This Week” that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may consider a formal vote, but he said it’s already clear that even without this formal endorsement, a majority of the House supports the impeachment inquiry.

The White House has refused to comply with an impeachment probe unless a formal, full House vote is held. Although there is no constitutional requirement for a full vote, legal experts have said it has been the precedent in past impeachment proceedings.

Asked if he was concerned Trump would draw out the process by going to court, Jeffries responded “not at all.”

“As the speaker has indicated, we are going to proceed expeditiously because this is a matter of urgent national concern,” said Jeffries, the Democratic caucus chairman.

Failure to comply with the House subpoena for documents undermines a constitutionally mandated process and “could lead to a negative inference” for the information, documents and evidence Trump is “hiding,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries said that, despite partisan maneuvering around the impeachment inquiry, there is growing support for the proceedings across party lines among national security professionals.

“My colleagues on the other side of the aisle … they’re going to raise things about a cosmetic procedural vote,” he said. “They’re going to raise wild conspiracy theories because they do not want to defend the substance of the allegations and charges.”

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