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July 12, 2017

SF Valley Congressman Files Impeachment Charges Against Trump

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Earlier today, Rep. Brad Sherman, who represents California's 30th District in Congress, together with Rep. Al Green (TX), officially filed an Article of Impeachment against President Donald J. Trump, charging that Trump obstructed justice in attempting to influence former FBI Director James Comey's criminal investigation on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. "Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr. indicate that Trump’s campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia," Sherman said in an official statement. "It now seems likely that the President had something to hide when he tried to curtail the investigation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the wider Russian probe. I believe his conversations with, and subsequent firing of, FBI Director James Comey constitute Obstruction of Justice." Among the specific charges contained in the Bill of Impeachment (House Resolution 438) are that Trump requested that Comey "curtail the investigation of the activities of General Michael Flynn" with the implication that Comey might be fired if he refused; actually terminating Comey's employment, then trying to justify it afterwards by soliciting a "memorandum detailing inadequacies in the Director's performance of his duties" from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; Trump finally admitting that "the main reason for the termination was that the director would not close or alter the investigation of matters related to the involvement of Russia" in the 2016 presidential campaign; and stating that since Comey's firing, "the pressure of said investigation had been significantly reduced." Sherman termed these activities as "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," which refers to Article II, Sec. 4 of the U.S. Constitution: "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." "As the investigations move forward, additional evidence supporting additional Articles of Impeachment may emerge," Sherman noted. "However, as to Obstruction of Justice, as defined in 18 U.S.C. §1512(b)(3), the evidence we have is sufficient to move forward now.  And the national interest requires that we do so." Several news sources have already taken up that challenge, including Newsweek's Kate Brannen and economist Robert Reich. Additionally, the Attorneys General for the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit against Trump "accusing him of violating the so-called 'emoluments clauses' of the U.S. Constitution by continuing to own his various business hotel, restaurant, golf, and real estate ventures." Sherman also indicated that he had little respect for the Trump presidency so far. "Every day Democrats, Republicans, and the entire world are shocked by the latest example of America’s amateur President," Sherman stated. "Ignorance accompanied by a refusal to learn. Lack of impulse control, accompanied by a refusal to have his staff control his impulses. We’re no longer surprised by any action, no matter how far below the dignity of the office—and no matter how dangerous to the country." Sherman also expressed the hope that the filing of the impeachment Article might "inspire an 'intervention' in the White House," though he appeared to hold little hope for that. Rather, he said he expected that the filing would be the beginning of "a very long road," which would lead to Vice President Mike Pence taking Trump's place in the Oval Office. "I served with Mike Pence in Congress for twelve years and I disagree with him on just about everything," Sherman noted, adding, "I never dreamed I would author a measure that would put him in the White House." Sherman indicated that, considering the large majority of House seats held by Republicans, whom he suspected might hold up consideration of the Article, he was prepared to offer a "privileged motion," a parliamentary rule (which can be read here) that would require the entire House to consider and vote on the Article despite it not having been taken up by the House Judiciary Committee. Sherman represents communities in the San Fernando Valley including the area along the 101/134 freeways from Studio City to Hidden Hills, and as far north along the 405 freeway as Granada Hills. It includes Chatsworth, Canoga Park, Northridge and Reseda, where a number of adult companies are located. Pictured, l-r: Reps. Brad Sherman and Al Green at a press conference.

 
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