Potty mouth and palling with Putin: The bizarre reasons Democrats want to impeach Trump
From dealing with Russia to insulting representatives, the list of Trump’s impeachable offences is running long for Democrats, and they are threatening action if they retake the House in November.
“There’s a good likelihood there will be articles of impeachment.” Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) swore on CSPAN Tuesday.
“Every member of the House is accorded the opportunity to bring up impeachment...I am not sure that there will be members who are going to wait for someone else if that someone else, doesn’t matter who it is, is declining to do it. We can all do it.”
Article Two of the United States Constitution states in Section 4 that the President can be removed from office “on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors."
If White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller found any evidence that Trump obstructed justice or accepted foreign payments, there is a possibility that impeachment proceedings could start. Likewise, Democrats say that Trump’s order this week to have the Justice Department investigate the FBI’s alleged surveillance of his campaign could constitute an abuse of office and lead to his removal.
Green, however, has called for Trump’s impeachment no less than nine times, and often for far less serious offenses. His fellow Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters (California) has demanded impeachment dozens of times, for some equally ludicrous ‘crimes.’
While Democrats like Senator Cory Booker (New Jersey) and Rep. John Yarmuth (Kentucky), as well as liberal hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, have all demanded impeachment at some point, Green and Waters have been the most prolific.
For saying NFL players should stand
After former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem last September to protest racism and police brutality, he kicked off a protest movement that spread through the NFL.
Trump called the kneeling “unacceptable” and said that the players involved should be fired. This was enough for Green to call for impeachment. He told Congress that Trump had “undermined the integrity of his office with impunity and...brought disrepute on the presidency with immunity,” but acknowledged that he had not actually committed any crime.
For being friends with Putin
Last October, as several investigations were still looking for collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian actors, Rep. Waters told CNN that the House Intelligence Committee simply had not “connected the dots.”
Trump, she argued, should be impeached for “being such good friends with Putin.” When asked for proof of this, Waters replied: “I know. And that’s why we have a special counsel.”
Eight months later, the House Intelligence Committee concluded that no collusion took place, and Mueller’s investigation has yet to turn up any evidence of collusion or obstruction.
For being unfunny and disrespectful
In March, Waters again took to TV to claim that it was “absolutely clear” that Trump had colluded with Russia, and to call the president “stupid,” “ignorant,” “racist,” and a “moron.” Waters then demanded that Trump be impeached for name-calling.
Several days beforehand, Trump had called Waters “a low IQ individual” at a rally in Pennsylvania.
For promoting ‘xenophobia’
Last November, Green promised House Democrats an early Christmas present: a vote on impeachment. Citing no concrete examples of crime or misdemeanor, Green announced that “before Christmas, there will be a vote on the ‘Chief Inciter’ of racism, bigotry, hatred, xenophobia, sexism, ethnocentrism.”
As usual, Green’s anti-Trump tirade delivered no results.
For his potty mouth
In January, 66 House Democrats, led by Green, attempted to force a procedural vote to initiate the impeachment process after Trump allegedly referred to Haiti and some African countries as “s**tholes.” Green said that a comment like this was an attempt to “convert his bigoted statements into US policy,” and it demonstrated that Trump was “unfit to be president.”
The vote failed, with 355 votes against 66. Had it succeeded, the issue would have gone to the Senate, where a team of lawmakers would have tried the president. If two-thirds of the senators found the president guilty, he would have been removed from office.
Facing this fruitless struggle, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), a vehement opponent of Trump, tamped down talk of impeachment last month. She argued that frivolous calls for Trump’s removal were divisive, and could hurt Democrats in the upcoming midterms.
“I don’t think we should be talking about impeachment. I’ve been very clear right from the start,” she said in a press briefing. “On the political side I think it’s a gift to the Republicans.”
"Impeachment to me is a divisive issue unless there's something so conclusive as we saw … in Watergate," she said. “This election is not about what’s going on in the White House and the rest of that. It’s about our addressing the needs of the American people, and we cannot take our eye off that ball.”
Pelosi’s concerns have been echoed in the polls, where impeachment is looking like a losing position. Forty-seven percent of registered voters would vote against a candidate pushing impeachment, compared to 42 percent who would vote for such a candidate, according to an NPR/PBS poll taken last month.
Only three presidents have ever been subjected to impeachment proceedings. Andrew Johnson was impeached but acquitted in 1868, as was Bill Clinton in 1998 and 1999. Both stayed in office afterward. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 to avoid being impeached.