On Wednesday, House Democrats introduced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, though they acknowledged their efforts have no chance of success while Republicans control both houses of Congress.
Steve Cohen from Tennessee, introduced five articles of impeachment that include obstruction of justice for Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, two emoluments clause violations, undermining the independence of the federal judiciary and undermining the freedom of the press. “The time has come to make clear to the American people and to this President that his train of injuries to our Constitution must be brought to an end through impeachment,” he said.
Cohen, the ranking member on the House judiciary committee’s Constitution subcommittee, acknowledged the limitations of his proposal saying, “I don’t expect the House judiciary committee, which is operated like a branch of the administration, to take up hearings”.
He told members of the press he would likely be facilitating briefings in lieu of hearings.
“There are many reasons why I think the President is an awful President, an awful person, but not all those reasons rise to the level of impeaching a sitting President. We are not seeking his impeachment because of what he did before he was President,” Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Illinois, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said beside Cohen.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded in a statement, saying time spent calling for Trump’s impeachment “would be better spent focusing on tax relief for American families and businesses. It’s disappointing that extremists in Congress still refuse to accept the President’s decisive victory in last year’s election,” she said.
Michael Ahrens, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, called the impeachment effort radical saying “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”.
This isn’t the first time Democrats have argued to impeach Trump. Earlier this month, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, said the President has committed “significant constitutional impeachable violations,” adding that Democrats needed to act.