Two United States House members on Wednesday filed official articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, setting what is believed to be a new record for the earliest point in a presidential term at which impeachment articles have been filed. The articles cite “obstruction of justice” as the charge against Trump, which, if the impeachment articles are approved by the House, could, in theory, lead to Trump’s removal from office, pending a vote in the Senate.
Brad Sherman, 62, an 11-term Democratic House member from Southern California, and 69-year-old Al Green — a Texas Democrat in his seventh House term — filed the articles Wednesday morning. Sherman issued a statement saying that he expects Republicans to eventually sign on to the impeachment effort against Trump as new evidence emerges.
“Filing Articles of Impeachment is the first step on a very long road,” Sherman said. “But if the impulsive incompetency continues, then eventually — many, many months from now — Republicans will join the impeachment effort.”
Green had earlier announced his intent to start impeachment proceedings against Trump, but he has now signed on to Sherman’s push which began when the California representative circulated a draft of the articles on June 12, one month ago. That draft can be read at this link.
According to Sherman’s statement, Trump’s firing on May 9 of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, and the conversations prior to the firing in which Trump apparently pressured Comey to cease the FBI’s investigation of Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, are hard evidence that supports an obstruction of justice charge.
For a president, or any officer of the federal government, to be removed by impeachment, the House must approve the articles of impeachment by a simple majority vote. The articles then go to the Senate, which holds a trial. But before making it to the House floor, articles of impeachment must first be approved by the House Committee on the Judiciary, a committee that Republicans currently hold a majority in.
To convict a president requires a two-thirds vote of all participating senators. In other words, if all 100 senators take part in the vote, 67 must vote in favor of conviction, with a separate vote taken for each article of impeachment filed. If convicted, the president would then be removed from office.
But even passing the articles of impeachment through the House by a simple majority will likely be impossible with Republicans holding 249 House seats to 194 held by Democrats.
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