Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Says She Will Offer A Resolution Of Investigation On Impeachment This Week


Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of the Judiciary Committee, tells CNN she will be introducing this week a resolution of inquiry asking the full House to authorize an investigation meant to determine whether impeachment powers should be used.

"This resolution and investigation is a resolution with teeth," she said.

REP. SHEILA JACKSON-LEE: I believe that we have a process through our House rules, the manual of practice, section 6 and 7, and I won't bore with that, that allows a resolution investigation to be introduced and to be voted on by the House of Representatives, and it's a bifurcated process, and what I've said is that this is not the only tool in our toolbox, but it is a tool of the Article I Constitutional rights of the Congress to investigate, and people are investigating now, so it doesn't preclude other committees, but it specifically instructs the Judiciary Committee and it has a House vote. That's a strong statement both to the American people and both to members of Congress for the Judiciary Committee which is doing its work now to investigate, but the language says to investigate and then to determine to exercise its power under Article I, determining or proceeding on the process for assessing the misconduct of the president of the United States. So it then leads you into that impeachment process. I know all over the country there are advocacies and groups and people who believe we should move now, move now. That is absolutely their prerogative and right, and I feel and understand what they are saying and have voted for it in past congresses.

But what I do know as well that we know that all of the people coming together make a better statement for moving on this procedure, and we note in the Nixon impeachment a year before he was impeached, the American people were at 19%, but as a smoking gun became obvious they moved to 57%. That's an important statement on behalf of the American people. We represent the people. We're for the people. So this resolution and investigation is a resolution with teeth. It is a statement of the Congress, particularly the House, to say that we had -- we mean business, we want our subpoenas to be adhered to, and we want you to appear before our committee, the Judiciary Committee, in the instance of this constitutional authority that we, have and it is invested in the Judiciary Committee, any proceedings dealing with impeachment. And so it's important for the Judiciary Committee to determine whether it is exercising that authority. I think it's a very important step forward, and it's not mutually exclusive to other proposals that have been moving or been proposed previously.

CNN HOST: One thing I want to ask real quick because I know you're very busy, but the idea -- the word impeachment kind of sends off sirens and one of the concerns from your sirens including the Speaker have raised, is just having it out there it becomes all-consuming. Nobody will care about healthcare or climate change or prescription drug costs. It will be all impeachment all the time. Do you feel like you're at the point that they are just wrong if that's their position?

JACKSON-LEE: I don't feel that they are wrong, and that's why the resolution of investigation is something that all members can vote on, and they can go to their district and say they voted to investigate. We will then subsequently look and determine to exercise that ultimate authority. That's the positive aspects of this resolution. It has teeth in it, and it allows members from all perspectives to go to their districts, whether for or against and be able to say you would not want the Congress not to strongly investigate and we in the House determine that we should strongly investigate and the Judiciary Committee should strongly investigate and then ultimately decide whether we should exercise that ultimate authority.

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