He’s been in office less than 6 months, but already steps are being taken to remove the 45th president from office. The Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday that “Los Angeles-area Rep. Brad Sherman has introduced articles of impeachment against President Trump, making good on a promise to move the process forward.”
House Democratic leaders say Sherman's move will interfere with their ability to stay focused on the economy, healthcare and the investigation into Russia's interference in the presidential election. Lawmakers on both sides are saying they may have to work through part of their August recess, drafting passable healthcare legislation.
Sherman’s measure, HR 438, was introduced on the House floor Wednesday afternoon. An 11-term Democrat, Sherman represents part of the San Fernando Valley. He first began circulating articles of impeachment last month.
HR 438 accuses Trump of obstruction of justice, using his authority to threaten and terminate former FBI Director James Comey, who was in charge of the investigation of former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn’s possible collusion with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) is supporting the impeachment effort and was the measure’s only co-sponsor. Green previously held a joint news conference with Sherman.
Sherman knows impeachment is a long shot, and called his move "the first step on a very long road." However, he said he believed Republicans will eventually come around if Trump’s "incompetence" continues.
Controversy has followed Trump even before he became the official U.S. president. Infighting, shake-ups, botched legislation and the president’s own left field tweets have become daily fodder for mainstream and tabloid news alike. Wednesday’s headlines, for example, referred to a meeting between Trump’s son and a Russian lawyer who supposedly had damaging information on then Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton; the subsequent decision to investigate Trump Jr’s emails; and a lawsuit accusing the president of violating First Amendment rights by blocking U.S. citizens on Twitter.
Sherman has promised top Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that he would not call for a floor vote before first consulting the Democratic caucus. Pelosi wants an independent commission to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
The impeachment measure is a long way from a floor vote and Sherman said he and Green will push the Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on the matter. Although both sides have questioned the president’s honesty, ethics and leadership at times, opposition to impeachment proceedings is strong. The Republican president currently enjoys the backing of a GOP-led House and Senate.
Sherman says he is hopeful that introducing articles of impeachment would “inspire an 'intervention' in the White House."