- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Senate candidate Kevin de Leon urged Capitol Hill leaders Wednesday to kick-start the steps needed to remove President Trump from office, saying his actions during the recent summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin amounted to treason.

Mr. de Leon, a Democrat running to the left of Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the California race, said leaders should compel Mr. Trump and his family to disclose their tax returns, take steps to protect special counsel Robert Mueller and start filing articles of impeachment.

“Empty words of outrage and hollow resolutions simply won’t cut it,” said Mr. de Leon, who serves as state Senate leader in California.

The California Democratic Party snubbed Ms. Feinstein, an 85-year-old Senate stalwart, over the weekend by giving its endorsement to Mr. de Leon, handing him a much-needed boost as he trails to the longtime incumbent in fund raising and name recognition.

Mr. de Leon squeaked by Republican primary contenders to advance to a Democrat-on-Democrat contest in November.

Now, he’s staking out an aggressive position in the wake of Mr. Trump’s performance in Helsinki, where the president said Monday he didn’t see any reason why Russia would have meddled in the 2016 presidential election with cyber attacks.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he misspoke during the press conference with Mr. Putin, and clarified that he accepts the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia did interfere in the election.

Ms. Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted that “President Trump has to stop kowtowing to Vladimir Putin, and his Republican allies in Washington have to stand up and say enough is enough.”

Hoping to one-up the senator, Mr. de Leon said Wednesday he wants to see concrete action from both parties, even though Republican leaders have been reluctant to ding the GOP president.

“Never before have we seen an American President abase himself so shamelessly, and adhere so closely, to the interests of an adversarial foreign power,” Mr. de Leon said. “Donald Trump’s actions in Helsinki on Monday prove that he is a threat to our national security, and cannot be trusted to put the American people’s safety and prosperity before his own.”

“We cannot afford to wait and see how low President Trump will go,” he added. “We must take serious action to show the world that we will not sit on the sidelines, but that we will defend our great and proud nation at all costs.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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