WASHINGTON ― A Democratic congressman has drafted an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump and plans to file his legislation in the coming days.
In a Monday letter to all House members, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) lays out why he thinks there’s enough evidence to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump and provides a copy of his proposed article of impeachment.
“I believe that Trump’s use of threats to obstruct the ongoing criminal investigations of Michael Flynn clearly violate 18 U.S.C. 1512(b)(3); Violations of that section are a felony,” Sherman writes. “Trump’s efforts to obstruct the investigation of his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia violated the same statute.”
The president is under fire for apparently attempting to impede a federal investigation into whether anyone on Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian operatives who meddled in the 2016 presidential election.
According to former FBI Director James Comey, Trump urged him not to investigate his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and hinted he would fire Comey if he did. The FBI continued to look into Flynn’s actions, and Comey was fired.
A White House spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
Here’s a copy of Sherman’s draft article of impeachment:
In a statement, Sherman added that he has “no illusions” that the House will pass articles of impeachment anytime soon, since Republicans control Congress.
But given Comey’s bombshell statements last week about the president’s inappropriate comments to him, Sherman said it’s Congress’ job to hold Trump accountable.
“The evidence we have is sufficient to move forward now,” Sherman said. “And the national interest requires that we do so.”
The California Democrat is part of a small but growing group of lawmakers floating the idea of impeachment. At least 24 House Democrats have talked about it, including Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who declared from the House floor last month that now is the time.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) has said that if the allegations in a memo Comey leaked last month are true, they are grounds for impeachment.
In the Senate, Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have brought up the idea as well. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, has said that he thinks Congress is getting closer to another impeachment process.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has tried to waive her caucus off the issue, warning that there aren’t enough facts to pursue impeachment proceedings for now. But some Democrats are feeling pressure from constituents to act, and Trump’s unpredictable Twitter rants about the ongoing investigation have only emboldened them.
Sherman will spend the next couple of days getting input from lawmakers on his bill and then decide when to formally introduce his bill, per his office. From the sounds of it, Sherman is already preparing for the possibility that Vice President Mike Pence will take over for Trump as president.
“Having served with Mike Pence in the House for twelve years, I disagree with him on most issues of public policy,” he said. “But we must move forward as quickly as possible to ensure a competent government that respects the Constitution and the rule of law, even if we end up with a President who is effective and dedicated to regressive policies.”