Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) has introduced the first formal article of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Mr. Sherman, who was joined by Congressman Al Green (D-TX) in filing the article, alleges the president committed obstruction of justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey amid agency investigations into Russian meddling in the US election.
“Filing Articles of Impeachment is the first step on a very long road,” Sherman’s statement reads. “But if the impulsive incompetency continues, then eventually—many, many months from now—Republicans will join the impeachment effort.”
The article would need 218 votes to pass the Republican-controlled chamber.
“I would hope that the Article, once submitted, would receive expeditious consideration by the Judiciary Committee. However, if it becomes clear that such consideration is not forthcoming, I (after consultation with colleagues and leadership) will make a privileged motion that the entire House of Representatives immediately debate the Article,” he wrote.
Read Rep. Sherman’s full statement below:
I am pleased that Congressman Al Green (D-TX) has joined me in filing Articles of Impeachment against Donald J. Trump. We now begin the effort to force the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on Obstruction of Justice and Russian interference in our election.
Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr. indicate that Trump’s campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia. It now seems likely that the President had something to hide when he tried to curtail the investigation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the wider Russian probe. I believe his conversations with, and subsequent firing of, FBI Director James Comey constitute Obstruction of Justice.
Every day Democrats, Republicans, and the entire world are shocked by the latest example of America’s amateur President. Ignorance accompanied by a refusal to learn. Lack of impulse control, accompanied by a refusal to have his staff control his impulses. We’re no longer surprised by any action, no matter how far below the dignity of the office—and no matter how dangerous to the country.
But the Constitution does not provide for the removal of a President for impulsive, ignorant incompetence. It does provide for the removal of a President for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.
As the investigations move forward, additional evidence supporting additional Articles of Impeachment may emerge. However, as to Obstruction of Justice, as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1512 (b)(3), the evidence we have is sufficient to move forward now. And the national interest requires that we do so.
Introducing Articles of Impeachment will have two possible outcomes. First, I have slight hope it will inspire an ‘intervention’ in the White House. If Impeachment is real, if they actually see Articles, perhaps we will see incompetency replaced by care. Perhaps uncontrollable impulses will be controlled. And perhaps the danger our nation faces will be ameliorated.
Second, and more likely, filing Articles of Impeachment is the first step on a very long road. But if the impulsive incompetency continues, then eventually—many, many months from now—Republicans will join the impeachment effort.
I author Articles of Impeachment not to change our national policy. I served with Mike Pence in Congress for twelve years and I disagree with him on just about everything. I never dreamed I would author a measure that would put him in the White House. I am introducing Articles of Impeachment to begin a long process to protect our country from abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and impulsive, ignorant incompetence.”