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Sharice Davids, in stronger statement, uses I-word, says Trump ‘abused his power’

Rep. Sharice Davids is finally ready to use the I-word when talking about President Donald Trump.

It came Wednesday after a memo released by the White House showed Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call for information on former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

“These allegations leave the House with no other option than to begin an impeachment inquiry, which allows us to use the full power of our chamber and all the tools at our disposal to uncover the truth. We must follow the facts, wherever they lead,” the Kansas Democrat said in a statement Wednesday night.

Davids said Tuesday she supported the House investigations into Trump after Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, announced that the chamber’s ongoing probes would fall under the umbrella of a formal impeachment inquiry.

But Davids avoided the word “impeachment,” which left her position ambiguous to constituents and news outlets. Some progressives slammed her language as too soft while conservatives accused her of trying to obscure her position.

Her new statement eliminates any ambiguity. She said details of the call showed Trump “abused his power and invited foreign interference into our elections – the very basis of our democracy – for his own political gain.”

Davids, the lone Democrat in the Kansas delegation, is the only one of the state’s federal lawmakers to voice support for an impeachment inquiry.

Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, whose Missouri district borders Davids’, has gone a step further and supports drafting articles of impeachment.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, said Wednesday he would have preferred that Trump had not made the call. But he also complained that the House leadership’s decision to pursue impeachment would prevent Congress from passing trade deals and other important business.

“We went through all that with the Clinton impeachment effort and the end result after impassioned speeches and a lot of press reporting… every Republican voted yes and every Democrat voted no,” said Roberts, who voted to remove President Bill Clinton from office in 1999.

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Bryan Lowry covers Kansas and Missouri politics as Washington correspondent for The Kansas City Star. He previously served as Kansas statehouse correspondent for The Wichita Eagle and as The Star’s lead political reporter. Lowry contributed to The Star’s investigation into government secrecy that was a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize.
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