What several political analysts had predicted before his takeover of the Oval Office this past January may become a reality sooner than many had anticipated—the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump. Wednesday, July 12, California congressman Brad Sherman (D) presented an article of impeachment against Trump, accusing him of obstructing justice regarding the federal investigation of Russia’s election interference last year.
“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,” the article of impeachment reads. “Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.”
This action is not too surprising, being that reports revealed more people protested Trump’s inauguration than that of any previous president.
A majority vote in the Republican-controlled House is necessary to complete the impeachment process.
Sherman cited that Trump’s unprovoked firing of FBI director James Comey amounts to “obstructing justice and high crimes and misdemeanors amid the probes of whether Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government to swing the election.”
He added that Comey alleges Trump pressured him to drop the FBI’s investigation into ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and mentioned Trump’s inconsistencies on why he fired Comey.
The charges may also include treason, conjuring up a case from more than 60 years ago, when husband and wife, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were convicted in 1951 of conspiracy to commit espionage, after being arrested the year before and charged with heading a spy ring that smuggled classified documents about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. They were both electrocuted at Sing Sing Prison on June 19, 1953.
Some critics charge that Trump’s allegations regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Russians during last year’s presidential elections are further proof of collusion between Trump and the Russians.
“I think that is utterly and completely ridiculous and a political game at its worst,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed to reporters Wednesday.
Although pessimistic about the outcome, Sherman maintains that he hoped that initiating the process would “serve as a warning to the Trump administration and establish a legislative vehicle in the long shot event that Republicans endorse forcing Trump out of office.”
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who had previously called for Trump’s impeachment on the House floor, is Sherman’s sole supporter so far.
When it was suggested that Congress set up an independent commission to investigate Russia’s involvement in last year’s presidential election, as well as the suspected links between Trump’s administration and Moscow, the suggestion was not supported.
“Leader Pelosi has repeatedly called for an outside, independent commission to get to the bottom of Trump’s connection to Russia’s interference in our election and to examine ways to protect the integrity of our democracy from foreign meddling in the future,” Ashley Etienne, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said in a statement. “Recent revelations, coupled with [the] president’s unprecedented campaign of dishonesty and secrecy, give greater urgency to the need for House Republicans [to] bring a vote to the floor immediately to establish an outside, independent commission.”
An intermediary working to set up a meeting between Trump associates and Russians wrote in an email, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
House Republicans could reject the resolution if Sherman were to force a vote, but it would put all members on record regarding Trump’s impeachment.
Some Democrats think it is premature to get the impeachment process going and don’t want to take positions on it at this stage.
What are the options?
“I served with Mike Pence in Congress for 12 years and I disagree with him on just about everything,” Sherman said in a statement. “I never dreamed I would author a measure that would put him in the White House.”
He added that he wants “to begin a long process to protect our country from abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and impulsive, ignorant incompetence.”