House Democrats Introduce Five Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

(Updated)

Rep. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.) / Getty

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House Democrats introduced five articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying they took the action because of their "great concern" for the country.

Reps. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.), Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.), Al Green (D., Texas), and Adriano Espaillat (D., N.Y.) spoke at a press conference outlining their support for a move that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has publicly opposed.

"[We've] taken this action because of great concern for the country and our Constitution, our national security, and our democracy. We believe that President Trump has violated the Constitution, and we've introduced five articles of impeachment," said Cohen, who went on to outline them.

The first article states that Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey in May, and the others allege various violations of the Emoluments Clause, undermining the judiciary, and undermining freedom of the press.

Cohen said Trump has shown a "pattern of behavior" that belittles institutions important to American democracy.

"We're calling upon the House to begin impeachment hearings immediately," Cohen said.

The other three Democrats also took turns laying out their case at the press conference. Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge (Ohio) and John Yarmuth (Ky.) are also signed onto the measure. Four of the six members hail from states Trump won in 2016.

With Republicans in control of the House, any hopes of impeachment in 2018 are practically nil.

Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens called impeachment efforts a "radical effort" that most Americans do not support.

"House Democrats lack a positive message and are completely unwilling to work across the aisle, so instead they’ve decided to support a baseless radical effort that the vast majority of Americans disagree with. Republicans are focused on issues the middle class actually cares about, like cutting taxes and growing the economy," Ahrens said.

Pelosi said on Nov. 5 that impeachment is "not some place I think we should go," and she denied the idea that Democrats would immediately impeach Trump if they win a House majority in the 2018 midterm elections.

Only two presidents in U.S. history have been impeached: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Neither was subsequently convicted in the Senate and removed from office.

Richard Nixon faced almost certain impeachment and removal from office over the Watergate scandal in 1974, but he resigned the presidency before those proceedings began.

UPDATE: 10:59 A.M.: This article was updated with a statement from the RNC.

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