In a longshot bid to remove President Donald Trump from office, Democratic Representative Brad Sherman of California formally introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, accusing the president of an obstruction of justice.
The impeachment article accuses Trump of interring with the investigation by firing James Comey, the former FBI Director.
This is the first article of impeachment against the president even though there have been calls to impeach Trump since he took office in January. Rep. Sherman argues that the president was trying to obstruct justice when he fired Michael Flynn after the former national security advisor began a probe into the administration’s dealings with Russia. He says that Trump’s abrupt firing of Comey amounts to high crimes.
The article comes shortly after Donald Trump’s son publicly acknowledged that he exchanged emails with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign. The younger Trump said that he met with the attorney to get information about his father’s presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. denied that he got any information about the former Democratic presidential candidate at the meeting.
White House representatives claim that the move to impeach the president is a ridiculous political game. Even fellow House Democrats were angered with Sherman and Green’s impeachment filing.
In fact, most Democratic leaders have distanced themselves from efforts to impeach Trump. They remember how Republicans were accused of overreaching in the late 1990s when then-President Bill Clinton faced impeachment. Democrats today don’t want to hurt their chances for the upcoming midterm elections.
Just one Democratic leader supports Sherman’s efforts to impeach Trump, and that is Representative Al Green from Texas. However, the two Democratic leaders have not gained any other supporters in their effort to impeach the president. In fact, one Democratic leader, Rep. Michael Capuano, went so far as to say that he believes that the impeachment effort could hurt the party. Other House Democrats, including Joe Crowley of New York and Nancy Pelosi of California, agreed with Capuano, saying that Democrats should focus on other issues.
Although Congress has the authority to remove a president from office before the end of his term, the impeachment effort against Trump is not likely to get very far in the Republican-led Congress.
Article One of the Constitution says that the president can be removed from office if he is impeached. This process is used to punish the most serious offenses. A president or vice president would have to be convicted of treason, bribery or other high crimes. But this requires lawmakers to have an extraordinary burden of proof. The actual steps to impeach a president are complicated and time-consuming.
If the president is impeached, the Chief Justice will preside over the trial. The House would then vote to adopt the impeachment. Before the vote, a House Judiciary Committee would investigate the article of impeachment.
For the president to be impeached, it would require a majority House vote. That means that both the Senate and the House would have to agree on impeachment. It would require a two-thirds vote from Senate. Currently, there is a 54-46 Republican majority in the Senate. This means that Republicans have the advantage when it comes to voting down impeachment articles.
Complicating things further is the fact that none of the Russian collusion allegations are not quite panning out. So far, these claims have turned out to be little more than hysterical claims perpetuated by the liberal media. There has not been any definite evidence that has proved that the President’s administration has colluded with the Russian government.
To date, no president has been removed from office after being impeached. Only two former presidents faced impeachment—Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton—and they were never convicted of the charges filed against them. Former president Richard Nixon faced impeachment for the Watergate scandal. He was very likely to be convicted for the role that he played in the break in at the Democratic Party’s headquarters in 1972. However, Nixon resigned before he could be found guilty and sentenced.
So, what happens next with the effort to impeach President Trump? GOP leaders will have a few weeks to figure out how the Judiciary Committee will respond.
~ Liberty Planet