California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman circulated a proposed article of impeachment for President Donald Trump on Monday for obstructing justice in a federal investigation.
He shared his article publicly through his Twitter account and said in a Monday statement that his office has shared it with all members of the House to seek support.
— Rep. Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) June 12, 2017
The article argues that Trump sought to use his authority to interfere with investigations into possible criminal violations of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Sherman’s article claims that in order to hinder or terminate the criminal investigations, Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to cut short the Flynn investigation, and then fired Comey to relieve the pressure of the Russia investigation. (RELATED: 11 Things We Learned From Comey’s Testimony)
“In all of this, Donald John Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” the article states. (RELATED: Comey: ‘No,’ Trump Didn’t Ask Me To Stop Russia Investigation)
In a letter to fellow lawmakers, Sherman said, “As the investigations move forward, additional evidence supporting additional Articles of Impeachment may emerge. However, as to Obstruction of Justice and 18 U.S.C. § 1512 (b)(3), the evidence we have is sufficient to move forward now. And the national interest requires that we do so.” (RELATED: Comey Says Trump Asked Him To Find A Way To Drop Flynn Probe; Trump Lawyer Denies)
Sherman asked for the House to move as quickly as possible for the removal of the President in order to “ensure a competent government that respects the Constitution and the rule of law.”
Sherman is not the first Democrat to call for the impeachment of Trump. Texas Rep. Al Green first began the effort of drafting articles of impeachment.
“The president, like all others, is not above the law,” said Green at a press conference last Wednesday.
Green is now working on additional attempts to charge Trump on other obstructions of justice, as well as other actions that would cause separate impeachment articles, noted The Hill.
The vote is doomed to fail, Sherman admitted in his statement, since Democrats are a minority in the House. As of press time, it had not been introduced in the House.
“I have no illusions. Articles of Impeachment will not pass the House in the near future,” he said. “But given the risk posed to the Republic, we should move things forward as quickly as possible.”
The U.S. Constitution states that the president must have engaged in and be convicted of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors in order to be impeached. However, it is not limited to just criminal behavior. It can also be attributed to “(1) improperly exceeding or abusing the powers of the office; (2) behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office; and (3) misusing the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
The House must initiate impeachment proceedings, and the Senate is charged with carrying out impeachment trials.