Six Dems Introduce Articles of Impeachment Against Trump
In what is widely considered to be a long shot given the current make-up of Congress, a handful of House Democrats on Wednesday introduced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump and called for impeachment hearings.
“Given the magnitude of the constitutional crisis, there’s no reason for delay,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), the sponsor of the resolution.
Democrat Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.), Al Green (Texas), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), John Yarmuth (Ky.) and Adriano Espaillat (N.Y.) have signed onto the effort.
Cohen laid out five articles which they believe merit impeachment:
- Obstruction of justice
- Violation of the Constitution's foreign emoluments clause
- Violation of the domestic emoluments clause
- Undermining the federal judiciary
- Undermining freedom of the press
A couple of other Democrats have introduced impeachment articles of their own in recent months.
Rep. Green launched an impeachment effort in October, accusing Trump of sowing racial and ethnic divisions throughout the country. He said the impeachment clause "was drafted for a time such as this and a president such as this.”
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) introduced an article of impeachment based on obstruction of justice after the president fired former FBI director James Comey. Green joined Sherman in that effort, but thus far, Sherman has not signed onto Cohen’s resolution. Cohen said that he expects more support in the coming days, however.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) said the Democrats' "baseless radical effort" would not distract from the president's agenda.
“House Democrats lack a positive message and are completely unwilling to work across the aisle, so instead they’ve decided to support a baseless radical effort that the vast majority of Americans disagree with," said RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens.
"Republicans are focused on issues the middle class actually cares about, like cutting taxes and growing the economy,” he added.
Fox News judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said on "Outnumbered" Wednesday: "Donald Trump is the valid, lawful, constitutional president of the United States of America. These members of Congress are trying to do — short of declaring war — the most radical thing that Congress can do."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and minority whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) have both publicly opposed impeachment, calling such efforts premature because Special Counsel Robert Mueller is still investigating many of the issues of concern to Democrats.
"Do we disagree with the policies? We do. But disagreeing with the policies is not enough to overturn an election, a free and fair election," Hoyer told reporters shortly after Cohen's news conference.
"There are a large number of Democrats that believe this president ought to be impeached. We have just a made a judgment that the facts aren’t there to pursue that," he said.
There are also political considerations behind the Democrat leadership's opposition to impeachment, according to The Hill.
The Democrats had centered their 2016 campaign largely around attacks on Trump — a strategy that backfired — and the party brass doesn’t want to repeat the same mistake heading into the 2018 midterm elections.
Cohen conceded that many Democrats simply “want Trump to hang himself, and think that we don’t need to help him.”
“But I think there are a great number of Democrats who think there have been impeachable offenses,” he said. “I think the majority of Democrats think that.”