A group of six House Democrats led by Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee introduced new articles of impeachment against President Trump Wednesday. Cohen gave a press conference this morning at which he outlined each of the five articles of impeachment he was introducing. Over at the Washington Post, Dave Weigel created this list:
One: Trump has “obstructed the administration of justice” with coverups on the Russia probe.
Two: Trump’s opaque handling of his finances and real estate holdings “left himself open to foreign influence and deprived the American people of the assurance that their highest elected official was working on their behalf with undivided loyalty, and violated Article I, Section 25 of the U.S. Constitution.”
Three: Trump “violated Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution,” the emoluments clause, by continuing to benefit from business at his properties while president.
Four: Trump has “sought to undermine the independence of the Federal judiciary and the rule of law” by criticizing judges who rule against him and by pardoning infamous Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Five: Trump has “sought to undermine the freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
Given his concern for the freedom of the press, it’s interesting that when discussing his motives for filing these articles, Rep. Cohen blamed Trump for allowing neo-Nazis to march in Charlottesville. “I called [Nancy Pelosi] immediately after Charlottesville and I said ‘I know you’re not for this but I can’t stand by when he allows Klansman and neo-Nazis to demonstrate as they did and say…blood…Jews will not take our jobs, have tiki torches’ I said ‘I can’t do this.'”
The same First Amendment that protects the free press also guarantees the right of free speech and free assembly. Trump can be faulted for saying there were “fine people” marching with the neo-Nazis (and I disagreed with that when he said it) but he didn’t “allow” them to march. In fact, it would have been unconstitutional for him to attempt to disallow them. Despicable as they are, these groups have a right to march and to speak, a right that even the ACLU recognized at the time (though they also got a lot of blowback for taking a principled stance).
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez indicated earlier this month that these new articles of impeachment were coming before Thanksgiving (Democrats always want us to talk politics at Thanksgiving). However, this is not the first time articles of impeachment have been introduced. Rep. Al Green has been calling for Trump’s impeachment since at least May introduced his own articles of impeachment last month. Rep. Brad Sherman introduced his article of impeachment (just one) in July.
But don’t forget about Maxine Waters. She started calling for Trump’s impeachment before he was even sworn into office and hasn’t stopped since. Monday night at a Glamour awards ceremony she led the crowd in a chant of “Impeach 45!”
Maxine Waters led a crowd in chanting "Impeach 45!" at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards. (via Glamour) https://t.co/1C0bfI3OKf
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 14, 2017
As always, the Democrats are using their cultural power to push for their political ends. Meanwhile, the top donor to Democratic causes, billionaire Tom Steyer, has been running a $20 million ad campaign to push for impeachment. I’m so old I remember when Democrats were against money in politics and billionaires with too much political power. But top Democrats won’t say a bad word about Steyer even as they pretend they’re against this ongoing campaign for impeachment.
Here’s Rep. Cohen describing his new articles of impeachment: