Article of impeachment formally filed against Donald Trump

Democratic Reps. Al Green of Texas and Brad Sherman of California claim that President Trump obstructed justice

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 12, 2017 4:39PM (EDT)

 (Getty/Saul Loeb)
(Getty/Saul Loeb)

Two Democratic congressmen formally filed an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Reps. Al Green of Texas and Brad Sherman of California introduced House Resolution 438, an Article of Impeachment against Trump for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

"Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr. indicate that Trump’s campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia," said Sherman in a 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."

Sherman,  who was the first member of Congress to draft and circulate articles of impeachment last month, added that while Trump has displayed a great deal of behavior which calls into question his mental fitness to be president, "the Constitution does not provide for the removal of a President for impulsive, ignorant incompetence. It does provide for the removal of a President for High Crimes and Misdemeanors."

In the article of impeachment, the congressmen write that "knowing that federal law enforcement authorities were investigating possible criminal law violations of his former National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn and knowing that federal law enforcement authorities were conducting one or more investigations into Russian state interference in the 2016 campaign for President of the United States," that President Trump "sought to use his authority to hinder and cause the termination of such investigation(s) including through threatening, and then terminating, James Comey, who was until such termination the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

Only two presidents have ever been impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, but neither was removed from office. One president who was facing almost certain impeachment, Richard Nixon, chose to resign in order to avoid that fate.

Sherman acknowledged on Wednesday that filing the article is “the first step on a very long road.”

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa