California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman wasted no time in introducing articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, filing them as his first order of business in the new, Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.
Sherman, who authored the resolution and has introduced it once before, in 2017, told the Los Angeles Times that he does not believe there is any compelling reason that Congress should waiver or delay in taking action against Trump. To that end, Sherman preempted his own party leadership and filed the resolution calling for Trump to be removed from office.
“There is no reason it shouldn’t be before the Congress,” Sherman told the paper. “Every day, Donald Trump shows that leaving the White House would be good for our country.”
Sherman’s resolution calls for Trump to be impeached for “threatening, and then terminating” former FBI Director James Comey because Comey was “conducting one or more investigations into Russian state interference in the 2016 campaign,” the Daily Mail reported.
He says he may add additional articles later, but wanted to file the first document as a challenge to his Democratic colleagues who have yet to express their support for pursuing impeachment. “Every member of the House will have to address whether there are formal articles of impeachment pending,” he told the LA Times.
Sherman is no stranger to impeachment proceedings. He filed an identical document in 2017, but failed to get more than a single supporter for his effort. His bill was briefly co-sponsored by Rep. Al Green (D-TX), but Green went on to file his own articles of impeachment against President Trump over Trump’s travel ban.
The Daily Mail reports that a third Democrat, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), also filed articles of impeachment, accusing President Trump of “obstruction of justice” for firing Comey and of violating the Constitution’s “emoluments clause,” which prevents the president from directly profiting from his own foreign policy decisions.
That bill died in committee, though it did eventually catch 13 co-sponsors.
Even in the Democratic-controlled Congress, though, impeachment isn’t likely to pass. The House can vote on articles, but it cannot remove the president from office, and the Democratic majority is still slim enough that success on an impeachment vote is not guaranteed.
Democrats are also reticent to commit to impeachment, or even censure, citing polls that show only around one-third of Americans approve of the idea.
Newly-elected Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), was lukewarm on the issue when asked Thursday, according to a report by NBC News, telling the Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie that Democratic leadership would not rule out impeaching the president, but that they would refrain from pursuing impeachment for purely “political” reasons, because the issue is “divisive.”
That won’t stop Pelosi from antagonizing the president from the Speaker’s office, however. As soon as the new Congress is settled, Pelosi and several other Democrats plan to begin several investigations into White House operations, the 2016 presidential campaign, and the president himself.