Donald Trump’s impeachment has been a topic of some discussion over the last year, but high-ranking Democrats had made sure to refrain from that kind of talk. It is mostly Democrat activists and donors like Tom Steyer (he has funded the Need to Impeach campaign against Trump) that have considered his impeachment a serious possibility. But by and large, barring a few fringe Democrats in Congress, nobody within the Democratic Party advocated for Trump’s impeachment last year for fear of galvanizing his core base of supporters before the midterms.
But all that changed this week with a video. Shortly after the swearing-in ceremony of the new wave Democrats, many of whom are females from ethnically minor groups, a video emerged showing Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian woman elected to Congress, calling for the impeachment of Trump. Not only did she call for his removal from office, but Tlaib also used the word “motherf**ker” to describe Trump. The video of the remark, made at a private Move On campaign event, went viral.
The fallout was almost immediate, with Republicans using her profane comment as a means to attack Democrats, while some members of her own party were divided about how to react to her comment. Tlaib did not apologize and said that she would continue speaking truth to power. And while the video has certainly sparked a reaction from both sides of the aisle, the most important thing it has done is that it has brought the possibility of Trump’s impeachment squarely back on the table. Many Democrats who were not speaking about a possible impeachment for fear of hurting their midterm chances are now encouraged by Tlaib’s directness, and it is likely her bluntness would energize some young Democrats.
Folks, Tlaib’s MF’er bomb wasn’t controversial. That’s just salty language. It was her implicit guarantee of impeachment that angered Pelosi, other Dems. They’re waiting for Mueller.— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) January 5, 2019
Perfectly captured by @eliseviebeck @mikedebonis https://t.co/db74liXdCs
Even Nancy Pelosi could not dismiss the impeachment possibility following Tlaib’s comment, but she said that Democrats will have to wait till the special counsel investigation winds up to know for sure. She is trying to play it safe, but this directness from new House lawmakers is a testament to how feisty the fight is going to be from this year onward.
“We shouldn’t be impeaching for a political reason, and we shouldn’t avoid impeachment for a political reason,” Pelosi said, before going on to describe demands of a Trump impeachment as “legitimate,” according to the Guam Daily Post.
It also led Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a member of the Judiciary Committee, to admit that if Democrats brought impeachment proceedings against Trump, the committee would take it very seriously.
“[Our job is to] present a case to the American people about what is happening and finding out for ourselves what is happening, and then we see where that takes us,” she said.
Tlaib’s comment had a tangible and immediate effect on Trump as well. As the Inquisitr reported, Trump brought up impeachment during a meeting with Democrats about ending the ongoing government shutdown without any provocation. Shortly after, he announced in the Rose Garden that he is too popular to be impeached. This move is as much a defense as it is a desperate act of self-assurance.
The president has apparently been unnerved. Whether the new year will actually bring about his impeachment, we can’t say for sure, but it is going to be some ride.