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The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBTQ rights organization, has come out in support of the U.S. House inquiry that could lead to the impeachment of Donald Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the inquiry Tuesday, after a whistleblower alleged that Trump had pressured the president of Ukraine to have authorities investigate former Vice President Joe Biden -- a potential 2020 rival -- over work Biden's son Hunter had done for a Ukrainian energy company, even though previous probes had found no questionable behavior by the Bidens. The request reportedly came with a threat to withhold aid. Notes released about the phone conversation between Trump and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky support the whistleblower's account.
"These are serious allegations that, if true, thoroughly compromise the national security of the United States, the constitutional process, and the integrity of our electoral framework. The safety and well-being of our democracy is at stake," HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement issued Friday afternoon. "The U.S. House is right to launch a formal inquiry and investigate all others who may have played a role in these alleged crimes or were aware of them. As the speaker said, no one is above the law, and that includes the president of the United States."
In a Washington Blade interview conducted before Pelosi's announcement, David had said HRC was looking at the issue of impeachment, which has been the topic of much discussion among all Americans for months given Trump's many problematic acts in office. "There are [a] variety of arguments that certainly support impeachment," David told the Blade then. "And I think some would say there are some legal arguments that certainly support impeachment, but some are also concerned about the collateral consequences of doing that. And so we're weighing all of those options, and we'll make a final determination in the next few days to the extent it's something that's germane." That determination has now been made.
Some other LGBTQ rights groups and those that include LGBTQ rights as part of a larger mission have voiced support for the inquiry as well. "The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund is in full support of Congress doing its job and proceeding with the impeachment inquiry. Our Democracy -- the present and the future -- depends on it," Executive Director Rea Carey said this week in response to a query from The Advocate. "Our system of checks and balances only works if we use it." The Action Fund is the political action arm of the Task Force.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce have also endorsed the inquiry, the Blade reported Friday. So have all eight LGBTQ members of the House. If the inquiry provides enough evidence, impeachment proceedings can begin if a simple majority of House members approve. The trial is then held in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority is required for conviction.
People for the American Way, which advocates for LGBTQ rights and other progressive causes, has gone a bit further and called Trump's behavior an impeachable offense. "The White House's argument that there was no pressure and no 'quid pro quo' in Trump's solicitation of help from Ukraine is a diversion tactic and is completely irrelevant," Senior Fellow Elliot Mincberg said in a statement issued Wednesday. "The key legal point is this: Just the ask by a candidate, for a foreign government to provide something of value to benefit the candidate's campaign, crosses a legal line under federal law. Such solicitations by candidates are illegal regardless of whether there are threats, rewards, or strings attached. The memo of Trump's call and his statements make it crystal clear that the solicitation was made, and that is an impeachable offense."