Details of President Trump‘s phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he pressed for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, have led to a flurry of calls for an impeachment inquiry.
Much of that activity has taken place in the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday announced a formal impeachment inquiry, but several previous holdouts in the Senate have also joined the chorus.
Here are the Senate Democrats who have called for an impeachment or an inquiry this week.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.)
Schumer announced on Wednesday that he supported Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry.
“I strongly support Speaker Pelosi’s decision. If we don’t reckon with President Trump’s persistent transgressions, the very foundation of this great republic is at risk,” Schumer said. “The president kept pushing and pushing and pushing the constitutional envelope. Finally, the president’s conduct made an impeachment inquiry unavoidable.”
“I know she did not make this decision lightly and took no pleasure in making it,” he added. “It is her carefully considered judgment that it is now in the best interest of our country and our Constitution to proceed with an impeachment inquiry.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.)
Before Schumer’s statement, Durbin was the highest-ranking Senate Democrat to endorse an impeachment inquiry.
“I think this may be the straw that broke the camel’s back,” the Senate Democratic whip said Tuesday. “There’s so much cumulative evidence here and many of us have wondered if this would ever see the light of day in an impeachment inquiry. But I think now we have to move forward.”
Sen. Bob Casey (Pa.)
Casey is the most recent senator to call for impeachment proceedings, and he’s one of the most moderate Senate Democrats to do so.
“Given this clear abuse of power, I believe I have an obligation to outline the conduct, both during the Russian investigation and the Ukraine matter, that is within the well-established definition of the ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ that the Senate would consider in an impeachment trial,” he said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“Surely, not every instance of presidential wrongdoing merits impeachment. Using the vast powers of impeachment in a cavalier fashion would be an insult to our Constitution,” Casey added. “However, a failure by Congress to pursue impeachment in the face of grave offenses by the President is just as insulting to our Constitution and our values.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.)
Murphy announced his support for an impeachment inquiry Tuesday, saying, “It is now my belief that the House of Representatives must begin an impeachment inquiry into the president’s corrupt efforts to press a foreign nation into the service of his reelection campaign.”
Murphy had been sharply critical of the handling of the whistleblower report before coming out in favor of an impeachment inquiry, particularly after Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) questioned whether the whistleblower was a “leaker.”
“This is just a head shaking moment for me that Republicans don’t give a damn about the national security of this country and are willing to let the president get away with this fundamental corruption,” Murphy said Monday. “If that is the direction that they take—attacking the whistleblower, trying to cover up this corruption, it’s a really, really sad day for the country.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)
Blumenthal on Tuesday morning called for the House to form an impeachment committee, hours before Pelosi announced the inquiry.
“I am calling today for a House Select Committee to investigate and move forward with impeachment proceedings against the President. I reached this decision with sadness, but also anger,” Blumenthal said in a statement.
“Congress must demand accountability,” he added. “At this moment, the threat to the rule of law and our democracy has reached a new height and requires all of us to step forward.”
Sen. Chris van Hollen (Md.)
Van Hollen announced his support for an impeachment inquiry Tuesday shortly before Pelosi’s announcement.
“As the White House continues to prevent the House of Representatives from exercising their Constitutionally-mandated oversight role, it has become clear that the tools provided by an impeachment inquiry must be employed,” van Hollen said in a statement.
“I have not come to this decision lightly — and I regret that the President’s actions require these measures. But the American people deserve the truth and confidence in their government, and I support an impeachment inquiry in order to expose the facts and protect our democracy,” he added.
Sen. Tina Smith (Minn.)
Smith struck a cautious note in her endorsement of an impeachment inquiry Tuesday, noting in a statement that impeachment is not the same as removal from office, which would meet a dead end in the GOP-controlled Senate.
“Impeachment is the only way in our system of constitutional checks and balances to establish whether a President has abused his power and put his own interests ahead of our national security and the rule of law,” Smith said in a statement.
“My job as Senator is to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law, and I must fulfill my responsibility to listen to all the evidence before making a final judgment,” she added.
Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii)
Schatz called for impeachment on Monday.
“[Trump] and his legal team argue that a sitting president’s authorities are so vast that they literally transcend the law. They argue that the Congress has a remedy for this criminality and defiance – the impeachment process,” Schatz said in a statement Monday.
“If that is their view, so be it. On behalf of the people who elected us, we must formalize and accelerate the impeachment process so that Congress, by exercising its responsibility under Article 1 of the Constitution, can provide some measure of accountability,” he added.
Updated at 7:23 p.m.