Rep. Alan Lowenthal for the first time in chairing a subcommittee hearing on Energy and Mineral Resources. He is co-charing with Rep. Paul Gosar, D-Arizona, (pictured left) in Washington DC on Tuesday Feb. 12, 2019. Photo by Kelly Puente.

Long Beach Congressman Alan Lowenthal has joined a growing number of House Democrats calling for impeachment proceedings to move forward against President Donald Trump.

Lowenthal joins a list of about four dozen other members of the U.S. House of Representatives to publicly support considering impeachment proceedings in the wake of the report released by special counsel Robert Mueller earlier this year.

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“Congress must hold him [Trump] accountable,” Lowenthal tweeted Thursday morning. “I believe the time has come to consider an impeachment inquiry.”

Lowenthal added that the Mueller report highlighted that the country’s democracy was attacked by a foreign power and that there is evidence that the president obstructed justice.

Lowenthal’s tweets came a day after Mueller gave a rare public statement Wednesday where he reiterated his findings in the investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election did not exonerate President Trump.

“If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said during his appearance.

Keith Higginbotham, a communications director and senior policy advisor to Lowenthal, said that the congressman’s views on impeachment had shifted for a variety of reasons. Higginbotham said Lowenthal has received “hundreds and hundreds” of letters from constituents supporting the idea of impeaching the president.

Lowenthal also hosted a town hall in East Long Beach Wednesday night where he explained his views on impeachment and got a favorable response from the crowd that Higginbotham estimated to be at around 300 attendees. Mueller’s statement on Wednesday also helped pushed Lowenthal to the position where is now, Higginbotham said.

Lowenthal joins at least seven other California Democrats including representatives Ted Lieu and Maxine Waters, two of the president’s harshest critics, in supporting some form of impeachment proceedings. Nearly half of the 23 candidates running for the Democratic nomination for president in the 2020 election, including California Senator Kamala Harris, have also publicly called for impeachment.

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An impeachment inquiry is the first step in a process that could lead to full impeachment proceedings. It would include the House Judiciary Committee investigating if the impeachment process is warranted before possibly referring it to the full House.

Democrats, including Lowenthal, resisted impeachment talk during last November’s election cycle. They instead chose to focus on health care and other issues that were less divisive.

The gains seen by the party after the November midterms gave Democrats control of the House, which is the first body that would consider an impeachment with it serving as the prosecutor and the Senate, which is still under Republican control, serving as the judge. An impeachment verdict would require two thirds of the Senate to approve of it. That means roughly 19 Republicans would have to join every Democrat to uphold an impeachment.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.