On Wednesday, Congressmen Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Al Green (D-TX) introduced an Article of Impeachment against President Trump for High Crimes and Misdemeanors. The action is considered largely symbolic as the United States House must reach a majority consensus to impeach a president, and the Republicans currently hold the majority.
The Article is based largely on allegations of collusion between the Trump administration and the Russian government. Listed in the Article of Impeachment are allegations that President Trump pressured former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“In all of this, Donald John Trump has acted in a manner to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” Sherman wrote.
Recent revelations involving Donald Trump Jr. have lent to the idea that the Trump administration had been colluding with Russia to help Trump win the White House. A series of emails from 2016 between Trump Jr. and a senior Russian government official reveal that Trump Jr. met with a Russian attorney in the hopes of obtaining information about Hillary Clinton that would have incriminated her.
Trump Jr. claims that nothing came of his meeting with the Russian attorney, but that does little to assuage concerns that the Trump campaign was willing to obtain information, possibly illegally, about the Democratic nominee.
Sherman’s website contends that he hopes to achieve one of two possible outcomes through the Articles of Impeachment. The first is to inspire the White House to discontinue what he calls “impulsive incompetency” and replace it with “care.” The second outcome is that, in the event that the White House continues to function incompetently, the Republicans eventually join the impeachment effort.
Thus far, Republicans have been largely silent on the Trump Jr. emails. Lee Zeldin, a House Republican from New York tweeted, “That meeting, given that email chain just released, is a big no-no.” Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn suggested during a Fox News interview that Trump Jr. may have been “duped” into attending the meeting, and House Speaker Paul Ryan has avoided the topic altogether.
Republican senators are also staying quiet on the subject, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell simply noting that the Senate Intelligence Committee is pursuing a Russia probe.
Democrats, at least for the moment, have backed away from calls for Trump’s impeachment, preferring instead to call for an independent commission to investigate Russia’s potential meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
According to The Hill, Sherman “drew ire” from fellow House Democrats when he first began circulating a draft article of impeachment last month. One Democratic representative, Michael Capuano (Mass.) said during a Democratic caucus meeting that Sherman’s efforts could even hurt the party.
Of course, much could change in the coming days if any new revelations expose a more nefarious agenda. Until that time, however, collusion, albeit unethical, is not a crime and is therefore not impeachable under the United States Constitution.
Donald Trump Jr. | Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, CC 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.