The effort to remove duly elected President Donald Trump dates back to the day he was inaugurated, first announced in a Washington Post article dated January 20, 2017 titled, “The Campaign to Impeach President Trump Has Begun” and it included a video of six protesters at the inauguration hoisting a “Resist” banner.
The Post reported on the start of what has been an almost constant effort to take Trump down by the left:
The effort to impeach President Donald John Trump is already underway.
At the moment the new commander in chief was sworn in, a campaign to build public support for his impeachment went live at ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org, spearheaded by two liberal advocacy groups aiming to lay the groundwork for his eventual ejection from the White House.
The organizers behind the campaign, Free Speech for People and RootsAction, are hinging their case on Trump’s insistence on maintaining ownership of his luxury hotel and golf course business while in office. Ethics experts have warned that his financial holdings could potentially lead to constitutional violations and undermine public faith in his decision-making.
“In May of 2017, Texas Rep. Al Green became the first Democrat in Congress to support impeaching President Donald Trump,” Buzz Feed reported. “Trump had, at the time, been in office for just four months.”
Green told BuzzFeed News last week:
My prayer is that the Senate will take the articles seriously, that the President will be found guilty, and he’ll be removed from office, but if he isn’t, the constitution allows for additional articles of impeachment to be filed. If the president commits impeachable offenses, the president can be impeached more than once … so if the Senate doesn’t do its job and the President commits impeachable acts, he can still be impeached, and he can be impeached for impeachable acts that he’s already perpetrated that were not a part of this impeachment.
Now as the House votes to impeach Trump, moving the effort to the Senate for a trail, the impeachment timeline stretches across all three years of his presidency.
• May 10, 2017 – McClatchy
Democratic leaders aren’t calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
But they’re getting closer.
To one Democratic congressman, the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey reminded him of the “doomsday clock,” a symbol that warns about the likelihood of nuclear war.
“We should maybe have an impeachment clock,” Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., said on Wednesday. “And if we did, I think yesterday moved us about an hour closer to having that need.”
• May 11, 2017 – CNN
Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s decision to fire his FBI director could lead to possible impeachment proceedings in Congress.
“It may well produce another United States vs. Nixon on a subpoena that went to United States Supreme Court,” the Connecticut Democrat said on Anderson Cooper 360. “It may well produce impeachment proceedings, although we’re very far from that possibility.”
• May 16, 2017 – CNN
CNN host Wolf Blitzer brought up the possibility of impeaching President Trump in an interview with Senator Angus King (I-Maine) Tuesday evening after a New York Times article alleged the president asked then-FBI Director Comey to end the FBI investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“If these allegations, Senator, are true, are we getting closer and closer to the possibility of yet another impeachment process?” Blitzer asked.
“Reluctantly, Wolf, I have to say yes simply because obstruction of justice is such a serious offense,” King responded.
• May 16, 2017 – Washington Free Beacon
Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) on Tuesday spoke at the Center for American Progress Ideas Conference in Washington, where she claimed that Monday’s Washington Post report on President Trump sharing classified intelligence with Russian diplomats moves Congress closer to impeaching him:
We don’t have to be afraid to use the word impeachment. We don’t have to think that impeachment is out of our reach. All we have to do is make sure that we are talking to the American public, that we are keeping them involved, that we are resisting every day, and we are challenging every day.
Waters added that she is not sure how the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials will develop, but she believes Congress is moving closer to impeachment after Monday’s report.
• May 17, 2017 – The Hill
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) on Wednesday said if the reports about Trump’s pressure on Comey are true, it would merit impeachment.
Asked by the Hill if the details in the memo would merit impeachment if they’re true, Amash replied: “Yes.”
“But everybody gets a fair trial in this country,” Amash added as he left a House GOP conference meeting.
Amash is one of only two House Republicans to cosponsor a Democratic bill to establish an independent commission to investigate Russia’s role in the election. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) has also endorsed the legislation.
Jones suggested in an interview with The Hill on Wednesday that the allegations in the Comey memo could lead to a push for impeachment proceedings.
• May 24, 2017 – New York Daily News
The first congress member to call for President Trump’s impeachment says he is now drafting the articles for it.
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) said Tuesday he is putting together the papers that would begin Trump’s impeachment process for alleged obstruction of justice.
• June 7, 2017 – Fox News
In a press conference Wednesday, Rep. Al Green (D-TX), and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) announced their intention to draft articles of impeachment.
The announcement came hours after four crucial intelligence witnesses testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and fielded questions regarding the Russia probe and possible Trump campaign collusion, and the day before former FBI Director James Comey gives his long-awaited testimony.
“In the spirit of keeping the republic, I have concluded that the president has obstructed justice and in so doing, the remedy for obstruction of justice is impeachment,” Green said. “The president will not be indicted while he is in office, and while there is some merit in talking about the judicial process, the impeachment process is the one that will bring him before the bar of justice.”
• July 12, 2017 – The Hill
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) formally introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday that accuses the president of obstructing justice during the federal investigation of Russia’s 2016 election interference.
• August 17, 2017 – USA Today
Rep. Steve Cohen announced Thursday that he would introduce articles of impeachment against President Trump following the president’s comments about the violent attacks in Charlottesville, Va., saying the president had “failed the presidential test of moral leadership.”
“As a Jew and as an American and as a representative of an African American district, I am revolted by the fact that the President of the United States couldn’t stand up and unequivocally condemn Nazis who want to kill Jews and whose predecessors murdered 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, and could not unequivocally condemn Klansmen whose organization is dedicated to terrorizing African Americans,” the Tennessee Democrat said in a statement.
• Nov. 2, 2017 –The Mercury News
[Tom] Steyer’s campaign has gathered steam: In 14 days, his petition calling for Trump’s impeachment has gathered more than 1.4 million signatures. His 60-second ad — which is playing nationwide on TV and online — argues that Trump has “obstructed justice” and “brought us to the brink of nuclear war,” as video rolls of North Korean President Kim Jong-un. It has been viewed nearly 1.2 million times on YouTube and 474,000 times on Facebook.
• Dec. 6, 2017 – National Public Radio
Texas Democrat Al Green forced a House vote on the impeachment of President Trump on Wednesday, but a broad bipartisan majority voted down the effort.
Green introduced two articles of impeachment against Trump. The articles did not include any charges related to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which has led to criminal charges against four Trump aides.
Instead, Green’s impeachment articles focused on divisive statements and actions by Trump, including his defense of racist protests and violence in Charlottesville, Va.; derisive comments about National Football League national anthem protests; and recent retweets of videos posted by a far-right nationalist British group, among other things.
The effort failed on a 364-58 vote, with four Democrats voting present. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer sided with Republicans in tabling Green’s articles.
• Jan. 19, 2018 – GovTrack.US website
“On Motion to Table: H.Res. 705: Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, of high misdemeanors.”
This was a vote to kill a resolution impeaching President Donald Trump. It was the second vote on impeachment since the President took office. As expected the resolution did not move forward, losing with 355 votes to kill the resolution. Most members of both parties voted to kill the resolution, with 66 Democrats and no Republicans voting for impeachment proceedings to begin.
• Jan. 3, 2019 – Today
Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wouldn’t rule out President Trump being indicted while in office, describing the topic as “an open discussion.”
During an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie, the House Democratic leader said it’s possible that special counsel Robert Mueller could seek an indictment against the sitting president, despite Justice Department guidelines against such action.
“I do not think that that is conclusive,” Pelosi said about the guidance.
“I think that that is an open discussion. I think that is an open discussion in terms of the law,” she said, on the eve of reclaiming her former title as speaker of the House. Pelosi will become the first lawmaker in recent history to hold that office twice when the 116th Congress convenes Thursday.
• Jan. 3, 2019 – Roll Call
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) is wasting no time letting President Donald Trump feel the pressure from a Democrat-controlled House.
The California Democrat plans to reintroduce articles of impeachment against Trump on Thursday, the first day Democrats retake a majority they have not enjoyed in the House since 2011.
The articles accuse the president of obstructing justice by firing former FBI Director James B. Comey after Comey refused to stop investigating former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.
• Jan. 4, 2019 – The Guardian
Among them has been the Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who had some strong words for the president. Speaking at an event shortly after being sworn in, Tlaib, the first Palestinian American elected to Congress, recalled a conversation she had after she won.
She said: “And when your son looks at you and says, ‘Mama, look, you won. Bullies don’t win,’ and I said, ‘Baby, they don’t’ – because we’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherfucker.”
Tlaib had been clear about her intentions in impeaching Trump throughout her campaign. She tweeted in March: “Why am I running? Because this is about electing the jury to impeach (POTUS) and I will make a heck of juror.”
And a rash of resolutions were introduced in the House in March:
- H.Res.13 Introduced March 1, 2019 by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) on the grounds of obstruction of justice during the Mueller investigation
- H.Res.257 Introduced March 27, 2019 by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for opening an investigation with no specific accusation made
- H.Res.396 Introduced May 25, 2019 by Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) which named several areas of concern, including:
- Violations of the Domestic Emoluments Clause
- Violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause
- Obstruction of justice
- Inappropriately disclosing classified information
- Destruction of public records
- Payment of ransom with federal funds in violation of international law
- Authorizing security clearances for people who are known security risks
- Failure to protect U.S. elections from foreign interference
- Campaign finance law violations
- Condoning white nationalism
- Using law enforcement to punish political enemies
- Attacking the press as “enemies of the people”
- Mismanagement by failing to fill vacancies
- Separation of immigrant children from their families
On October 31, the House of Representatives voted 232–196 to establish procedures for public hearings on impeachment, which started on November 13 and culminated with a vote on articles of impeachment on Wednesday.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter