Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) revealed on Tuesday that he and several other Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee plan to file new articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump before Thanksgiving. According to the Chicago Tribune, Gutierrez, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, shared the information at City Club of Chicago breakfast soon after special counsel Robert Mueller issued the first set of indictments in his investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian agents to influence the 2016 general election.
Gutierrez did not specify what grounds the new article will cite but he gave assurance that he and his colleagues have constitutional experts working on it, according to The Hill.
“It is clear to us that he is unfit to be president of the United States of America. I assure you we will not leave you lacking for reason.”
If Gutierrez and his colleagues in the House Judiciary Committee eventually file the articles of impeachment against Trump, it will be the most significant effort so far by Democrats to oust Trump from the office of the president. Previous articles of impeachment filed against Trump were by Democrats acting alone. For instance, California Representative Brad Sherman filed articles of impeachment in July, accusing Trump of obstruction of justice in the firing of the former FBI director James Comey. Representative Al Green of Texas filed articles accusing Trump of being “unfit” for the office of the president.
However, the latest effort will likely attract more attention and public interest because it involves multiple members of the House Judiciary Committee, a panel that has played key roles in impeachment proceedings in the past. It was the House Judiciary Committee that drafted impeachment articles and conducted investigations in President Richard Nixon’s case. The committee also drafted articles of impeachment in President Bill Clinton’s case after the House voted to refer the matter to the panel.
“We appreciate single members putting in on their own articles of impeachment—we’re going to use a lot of constitutional scholars and really make a case that the president should be impeached.”
Other Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee involved in the latest move include Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who had earlier announced his decision to file articles of impeachment after Trump caused an uproar in August when he said that “both sides” were to blame for the violence that marred the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Cohen later said he delayed the decision to file the articles of impeachment because he wanted to team up with other co-sponsors.
According to Newsweek, when contacted on Tuesday, Cohen did not give the names of the other co-sponsors, but a spokesperson confirmed that several other members of Congress were involved in the latest effort.
“Congressman Cohen is the ranking member of the Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution and civil justice, which is the subcommittee with jurisdiction over impeachment,” the spokesperson for Cohen said, according to Newsweek. “In that capacity, he is working closely with members to arrive at a consensus on final language for articles of impeachment.”
The latest move comes amid ongoing investigations into allegations that Trump’s campaign organization colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 general election. Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued indictments on Monday against Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, and his deputy Rick Gates. It was also discovered that a former Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, had pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators that he had no contact with the Russians.
However, observers say that although the latest move represents a major escalation of efforts to oust Trump from office it is unlikely to gain enough traction in Congress to achieve its goal.
Observers point out that Democratic leaders, including the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), are urging fellow Democrats to wait for the outcome of ongoing investigations into Trump-Russia collusion before making their move. However, many Democrats, including Gutierrez, believe that the time is right to start impeachment moves against Trump.
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