Six House Democrats filed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing the president of obstructing justice and undermining the freedom of the press in a likely ill-fated push by lawmakers to oust the president.
"We have taken this action because of great concerns for the country and our Constitution and our national security and our democracy," Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, said Wednesday at a news conference.
Cohen sponsored the resolution and was joined by five of his colleagues in the House of Representatives: Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois; Rep. Al Green, D-Texas; Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio; Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-New York; and Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Kentucky.
The group filed five articles of impeachment against the president, claiming, among other things, that the president obstructed justice in connection with the FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and connections to Trump presidential campaign officials; and that he has undermined the federal judiciary and the freedom of the press.
“The time has come to make clear to the American people and to this president that his train of injuries to our Constitution must be brought to an end through impeachment,” Cohen said.
In the resolution, lawmakers accused Trump of obstructing justice with his firing in May of FBI Director James Comey. In congressional testimony, Comey said he felt the president tried to get him to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign less than a month into his tenure after it was revealed that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his contact with Russian officials.
In response to the resolution, a Republican House Judiciary Committee aide told Politico that, “It’s the policy of the committee to consider impeachment articles if and when the constitutional criteria for impeachment exist.”
Democrats also expressed skepticism over the future success of the resolution.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said that many Democrats believe that Trump should be impeached, but “we have just made the judgment that the facts aren’t there to pursue that,” Politico reported.
The Associated Press noted that the measure was likely to fail in the Republican-led House.
“Indeed, the large majority of Democrats seem intent on having nothing to do with the effort either as lawmakers await the results of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia,” the wire service reported. “Democratic leaders have argued that the impeachment campaign riles up Trump's GOP base, a critical bloc in next year's midterm elections.”
Read the resolution:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.