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Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Rep. Al Green (D-Tx.), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) introduced the articles of impeachment, which they announced at a press conference on Wednesday morning.
The five articles accuse Trump of obstruction of justice, violation of the foreign emoluments clause, violation of the domestic emoluments clause, undermining 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,” Cohen said in a statement. “I believe there is evidence that he attempted to obstruct an investigation into Russia’s interference with the U.S. presidential election and links between Russia and the Trump campaign, most notably the firing of FBI Director James Comey. The president’s blatant refusal to separate himself from his businesses has led to clear instances of conflict of interest that appear to violate both the domestic and foreign emoluments clauses.”
Gutierrez posted a picture of the articles of impeachment on his Twitter account and added in a statement that Congress needs to “step in when there is evidence that the President is interfering with the judicial branch, obstructing or disrupting investigations or if the President is profiting improperly from his office.”
A resolution calling for impeachment hearings. pic.twitter.com/JNJAshC5bf— Luis V. Gutierrez (@RepGutierrez) November 15, 2017
In response, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee (RNC) characterized the move as a “baseless radical effort.”
“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,” Michael Ahrens, an RNC spokesman, said in an email to the Daily Dot. “Republicans are focused on issues the middle class actually cares about, like cutting taxes and growing the economy.”
Ahren’s statement that the “vast majority of Americans” disagree with impeaching Trump is inaccurate. A Public Policy Polling survey published on Oct. 31 found 49 percent of voters believe Trump should be impeached—a new high—while 41 percent opposed such a move. That’s up from 40 percent in mid-August, according to a PPRI poll, which also found 53 percent of Americans opposed to Trump’s impeachment.
The effort stands little chance of proceeding in the House, which is controlled by Republicans, who are unlikely to entertain the idea of impeaching a member of their own party. However, the group of Democrats represents the first unified push to impeach Trump.
If, hypothetically, the House voted to bring impeachment against Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate would need to conduct an investigation into the charges and two-thirds of the body would need to vote and find him guilty.
Green called for Trump’s impeachment on the House floor in May during an emotional speech where he said the president was “not above the law.”
Following his speech, Green received several racist death threats in a series of voicemail messages that he posted on his YouTube page.
Other lawmakers, like Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), have also drawn up articles of impeachment.
You can read the articles of impeachment here.
Update 11:18am CT, Nov. 15: Added statement from an RNC spokesman and additional context regarding his statement.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).