A San Fernando Valley congressman who apparently has heard his left-leaning constituents loud and clear has officially made the move toward impeaching President Trump.
U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman of Sherman Oaks filed an article of impeachment yesterday. It argues that Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI director James Comey in the midst of the G-man's investigation of possible collusion between the tycoon's campaign for president and the Russian government, which is accused of making efforts to sway the election in Trump's direction.
The legislation, filed with co-author Al Green, a congressman from Texas, alleges that Trump "prevented, obstructed and impeded the administration of justice during a federal investigation."
Sherman argued in a statement that it's clear now that Trump has had a lot to hide. On Tuesday Donald Trump Jr. released emails demonstrating that when a Russian operative offered up dirt on foe Hillary Clinton, he stated, "I love it." Legal analysts have pointed out that such dirt, known as opposition research, has value, and that presidential campaigns cannot accept gifts from foreign entities, particularly ones accused of trying to influence a national election. Trump Jr. said he ultimately declined to use the information.
"Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr. indicate that Trump’s campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia," Sherman said. "It now seems likely that the president had something to hide when he tried to curtail the investigation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the wider Russian probe. I believe his conversations with, and subsequent firing of, FBI director James Comey constitute obstruction of justice."
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Impeachment, however, wouldn't mean Trump is fired. President Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about sex in the White House. But he carried on. And, with majorities in the House and Senate, it's not yet clear if Trump's fellow Republicans will have anything to do with Sherman's effort. Sherman would need them to see any success. "We now begin the effort to force the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on obstruction of justice and Russian interference in our election," he said.
USC law professor Rebecca Latham Brown, an expert in the U.S. Constitution, essentially said good luck with that. "I don't expect much to come from this" for now, she said.
"It takes a majority of the House to approve articles of impeachment, and two-thirds of the Senate," she says. "You can see from those numbers it's unlikely. We haven't seen any indication of Republican support for this yet."
Sherman called his legislation "the first step on a very long road."