Rashida Tlaib, one of the newest Democrats in Congress, wasted no time calling on her colleagues in Congress to impeach President Trump.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) — the first Palestinian American ever elected to Congress — penned an op-ed for the Detroit Free Press calling for the House to begin the process to impeach the president due to a multitude of actions she characterizes as illegal.
“We already have overwhelming evidence that the president has committed impeachable offenses, including, just to name a few: obstructing justice; violating the emoluments clause; abusing the pardon power; directing or seeking to direct law enforcement to prosecute political adversaries for improper purposes; advocating illegal violence and undermining equal protection of the laws; ordering the cruel and unconstitutional imprisonment of children and their families at the southern border; and conspiring to illegally influence the 2016 election through a series of hush money payments.”
Tlaib, along with co-author John Bonifaz of Free Speech for People, argued that while Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the possibility of President Trump’s 2016 campaign colluding with Russian intelligence operatives to win the election, there’s already enough outside of that investigation to impeach Trump.
“There is no requirement whatsoever that a president be charged with or be convicted of a crime before Congress can impeach him,” they wrote. “They also ignore the fact that many of the impeachable offenses committed by this president are beyond the scope of the special counsel’s investigation.”
The decision over whether or not to impeach the president is a subject that’s been hotly debated among Democratic leaders. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) says she isn’t ruling out impeachment proceedings, political strategists argue that doing so wouldn’t be wise in the long run.
Democratic strategist Don Calloway told The Hill that Democrats could end up overextending themselves trying to impeach Trump — particularly because Trump won’t be removed from office without a two-thirds vote from the Republican-controlled Senate — and that a better expenditure of political capital would be to pass legislation that motivated voters to show up to the polls in November on issues like affordable healthcare and higher wages.
“These are things we should be focusing on instead of impeachment. Impeachment is purely political. We have substantive stuff to worry about,” Calloway said.
Also, even if Congress were to successfully impeach Trump, that would result in Mike Pence becoming the 46th President of the United States. As Grit Post’s Katelyn Kivel wrote in an August op-ed, Pence has experience both as a governor and a member of Congress, has political positions that are just as, if not more conservative than Trump’s, and would likely be able to govern scandal-free with Trump removed from office.
Still, Rep.Tlaib and Bonifaz argue that removing Trump from office is a necessity, calling him a “direct and serious threat to our country.”
“This is not just about Donald Trump. This is about all of us,” they wrote. “What should we be as a nation? Who should we be as a people? In the face of this constitutional crisis, we must rise. We must rise to defend our Constitution, to defend our democracy, and to defend that bedrock principle that no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States.”
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.