House Democrats are wasting no time taking action against the Trump administration after assuming control of the lower chamber with the swearing in of the new Congress Thursday.
Representative Brad Sherman, a California Democrat who last year joined two colleagues to file articles of impeachment against Trump, said he planned to re-introduce those articles on Thursday.
“I didn’t do this as some political move, I did it in July of 2017, about as far away from an election as a House member ever gets,” Sherman said. “Now I’m making sure not to take a step backward.”
Newly elected House speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, has warned Democrats not to spend their time trying to get Trump removed from office, calling it “not a priority on the agenda” for the party at the moment.
“We shouldn’t be impeaching for a political reason, and we shouldn’t avoid impeachment for a political reason,” she told NBC this week.
Sherman said he understands why party brass wants to wait for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report on Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election before deciding how to proceed.
“I think our leadership would like to wait for the Mueller report. If that comes out in the next couple months, I can’t blame them for waiting,” Sherman said.
As Sherman vowed to press on, New York representative Jerry Nadler proposed a bill to protect Mueller from being fired and his investigation from being interfered with by Trump.
The incoming House Judiciary Committee chairman joined several other Democrats to introduce the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, which would allow Mueller to challenge in court a move to fire him.
“As the Special Counsel announces new indictments and guilty pleas from Trump’s closest allies and associates, it’s clear that the threat to the Mueller investigation will only grow stronger,” Nadler and the bill’s other co-sponsors wrote in a joint statement.
Whatever its chances in the House, Nadler’s bill is unlikely to gain traction in the GOP-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already blocked similar legislation from reaching a floor vote.