The first impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump have now officially started. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Los Angeles) has formally introduced an article of impeachment against Trump that alleges he obstructed justice during the federal investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, The Hill reports.
— Rep. Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) July 12, 2017
This is the first time a legislator has imposed an impeachment article against Trump, and Democrats are in the middle of debating whether this is a good time to begin these proceedings.
But for impeachment proceedings to begin, there must be a majority vote in the Republican-controlled House, where they currently maintain a 46-seat advantage.
Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had harsh criticism for Sherman and others who support the impeachment article.
“I think that is utterly and completely ridiculous and a political game at its worst,” she said during an off-camera press briefing Wednesday.
But in his impeachment article, Sherman argues that Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey in May, resulting in “high crimes and misdemeanors” during the probes regarding whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to derail Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Sherman cites Comey’s allegations that Trump pressured him to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump’s former White House National Security Adviser, along with his ever-changing story on why he fired Comey.
“In all of this, Donald John Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office,” the article of impeachment states.
But because the House is GOP-controlled, Sherman’s article is unlikely to succeed, The Hill reports. By introducing the article, Sherman said he hopes this will serve as a warning to the Trump White House and establish the means to impeach Trump if, even though it’s unlikely, the Republicans ever do support ousting him.
Fortunately, he’s gained the support of one fellow Democrat — Texas Rep. Al Green, who has used the House floor to call for Trump’s impeachment.
Other House Democrats aren’t on board with Sherman’s bold move, however, and The Los Angeles Times reports that they have put aside talk of impeachment in favor of focusing on the economy, healthcare and the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the election. The Congressman says he has reassured House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that he won’t ask for a floor vote on impeachment without consulting the Democratic Caucus.
She responded with a statement asking once again for an independent commission to probe Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Sherman, who represents parts of California’s San Fernando Valley, introduced HR 438, the articles of impeachment last month and circulated the measure on the House floor Wednesday afternoon.
This effort by the California Congressman is good news, but the measure has a long way to go before it reaches a floor vote, and it’s expected to be referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Then the measure will face the tough swim upstream through the Republican-led Congress.
And Sherman is ready to push the Judiciary Committee, and in a statement, he said he hopes that the articles of impeachment will “inspire ‘an intervention’ in the White House.” The move, he said, is “the first step on a very long road,” but added that he believes Republicans will join the effort “many, many months from now,” should Trump continue to be incompetent. Which sounds likely.
Even though Sherman is on the right track, there’s more than a good chance the Republicans will derail him.
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