WASHINGTON U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday released the following statement: 

American democracy is not tangible. It cannot be seen or touched; it has no physical foundation or concrete infrastructure. American democracy isn’t the pieces of paper that are displayed at the National Archives, upon which our nation’s creators wrote the founding words of our republic. Those documents mean nothing, if not for the men and women who choose to take action in service of making their promise real." 

"This fragility of our American experiment means that once in a while it is tested by overreaching leaders who find its checks and balances an inconvenient barrier to the accumulation of power. At these moments, our democracy cannot fight back on its own – it needs all of us to rally to its banner. Today stands as one of those nation-defining moments." 

"In May, I first raised for my colleagues my grave concern that President Donald Trump was using the massive power of his office to demand that a foreign power dig up or manufacture damaging information about one of the president’s election opponents, former Vice President Joe Biden. In the last several days, it has come to light that President Trump in fact personally lobbied the President of Ukraine to begin a politically-motivated investigation of Vice President Biden in service of his own 2020 reelection campaign." 

"To use America’s global credibility as a casino token, to be cashed in for personal political gain, is an intolerable abuse of power and totally anathema to the rule of law. If we allow President Trump to get away with trading our influence abroad in order to advance his political interests, our nation’s standing in the world will suffer irreparable damage and the health of our democracy at home will suffer a potentially mortal blow." 

"It is now my belief that the House of Representatives must begin an impeachment inquiry into the president’s corrupt efforts to press a foreign nation into the service of his reelection campaign. As part of the inquiry, the House should take steps to assure that the pending whistleblower complaint be presented to Congress in full, and an investigation must take place into the full extent of the Trump administration’s demands that the Ukrainian government become agents of the president’s political agenda. If, as it appears Mr. Trump has already acknowledged, the president violated his oath of office by using the constitutional powers entrusted to him to try to destroy a political rival, then the president must be impeached." 

"I am deeply sorry that our nation must begin this journey toward impeachment. Up until these recent developments, I had resisted calling for the House to begin impeachment proceedings, choosing instead to allow the House to consider its options free from senatorial advice. But circumstances have changed, and the seriousness of the moment requires all of us to speak out in order to preserve our nation’s commitment to the rule of law.”