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Trump Impeachment Talk Swirls Among California Lawmakers

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Reps. Ted Lieu and Mark DeSaulnier of California. (Alex Wong/Getty Images; courtesy of Mark DeSaulnier's office)

Two members of California's congressional delegation are re-upping talk of impeachment after two reports published Friday revealed more about President Trump and his administration's relationship -- and conversations -- with Russia.

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) told KQED that he thinks "we're at a point where we should be preparing for impeachment."

"Personally, I think there's a real question about President Trump's ability to govern, which leads me to the conclusion that we should prepare for impeachment," said DeSaulnier. "I don't see him righting the ship, or getting to the point where he can."

DeSaulnier cautioned lawmakers about moving too quickly, saying that new information is coming out every day that has to be corroborated before the real steps toward impeachment can happen. But his comments signal a crossing over by Democrats who have been holding their fire on the "I" word as investigations into Russia's involvement in the 2016 elections continue.

"That line has been crossed," said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance). "In terms of the president committing an actual crime, it's right there staring us in the face, and now the only issue is what does Congress do with it."

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The comments came after two media reports served as a blow to White House efforts to quell interest in the Russia investigation.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that a senior Trump adviser was now a "person of interest" in the FBI investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.

The New York Times reported separately on Friday that Trump called ousted FBI Director James Comey a "nut job" in a meeting last week with Russian officials, adding that his firing relieved "great pressure" on him.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told The Associated Press that she's not "feeding the flame of impeachment talk."

"But members are going to do what they’re going to do, and their constituents think that the behavior of the president is appalling," she told AP on Friday.

DeSaulnier joins a growing roster of about 18 members of the House of Representatives who have mentioned impeachment, according to NBC News. The list already includes California Reps Maxine Waters (D-Inglewood), Nanette Barragan (D-San Pedro) and Rep. Lieu.

Lieu first mentioned impeachment in February after he told Politico that if Democrats regained control of the House in 2018, impeachment would be possible.

We asked all of California's congressional caucus for their reaction to the latest reports on the Trump administration and here are the following that we've received so far, as well as some gathered from social media:

House of Representatives

Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord, District 11)
"For me, I'm at the point right now where we should be preparing for impeachment.  But at the same time - there's information coming out every day, but it has to be corroborated.  So for us to build a case, both the legal aspect and the political aspect, for it to be successful - my hesitation is, if we're going to go to impeachment, I want it to be a success.

Personally, I think there's a real question about President Trump's ability to govern - which leads me to the conclusion that we should prepare for impeachment, because I don't see him righting the ship, or getting to the point where he can.  As I read the Founders - and I've read a lot about this, particularly recently - that's one of the situations that they wanted Congress to act under, if the administration for whatever reason is no longer able to function.  And I'd say we're pretty darn close to that.."

Ro Khanna (D-Fremont, District 17)
“These latest news reports continue to reiterate why we need a full, independent investigation on Trump's Russia connections and foreign interference in the 2016 Election.”
Twitter, Facebook

Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park, District 27)
"President Trump told us he fired Jim Comey because of the Clinton e-mail scandal. A top question for Robert Mueller's independent investigation must be why Trump is more honest with the Russians than with the American people."
Twitter, Facebook

Tony Cardenas (D-San Fernando Valley, District 29)
"Trump has called this investigation a witch hunt. Now he's bragged to Russia that getting rid of Comey was a big relief. That's not what you want to hear from a president. With these comments, and reports that the investigation has now reached the White House, common sense tells an independent commission is what America needs. The American people deserve answers."
Twitter, Facebook

Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert, District 36)
“This and the many other developments this week underscore that an independent investigation into Russian interference in our election is of the utmost importance.”
Twitter, Facebook

 Scott Peters (D-La Jolla, District 52)
“Another day, another ethics scandal from the very man who promised to drain the swamp. Mr. Mueller has my confidence that he will get to the bottom of this.”
Twitter, Facebook

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