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Rep. Pramila Jayapal
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WA Rep. Jayapal: President Trump ‘is the smoking gun’ for impeachment

WA Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. (CSPAN)

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal delivered a fiery address Wednesday as part of the first day of discussions in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, as Congress drafts articles of impeachment to send on to the Senate.

Jayapal: ‘We’re bending over backward to be fair’ in impeachment

Rep. Jayapal described what she and many Democrats in Congress believe to be a coordinated effort from the White House to obstruct the impeachment process.

“(President Trump’s) obstruction of Congress and blanket directive to deny us even a single witness, a single document, is unprecedented,” she described.

Obstruction is one of the two charges Congress is levying against the president, the other being that he abused the power of his office in order to affect the outcome of the upcoming election.

In terms of proof for the latter charge, Jayapal points directly at the president himself, while outlining concerns that he’s already planning lobbying for foreign interference again.

“The president admitted to his wrongdoing and corrupt intent on national television — the president is the smoking gun,” she pointed out. “President Trump has solicited foreign interference before, he is doing it now, and he will do it again.”

“The smoking gun is already reloaded, and whether or not it gets fired? That’s up to us,” Rep. Jayapal added.

How Washington representatives voted on Trump impeachment

Jayapal’s statement was one of many delivered across a busy session Wednesday, that had the House Judiciary Committee debating well into the night.

Democrats and Republicans delivered sharp, poignant and, at times, personal arguments for and against impeachment. Both sides appealed to Americans’ sense of history — Democrats describing a strong sense of duty to stop what one called the president’s “constitutional crime spree” and Republicans decrying the “hot garbage’’ impeachment and what it means for the future of the country.

Associated Press reporters Mary Clare Jalonick and Lisa Mascaro contributed to this story.

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