A prominent freshman House Democrat said Wednesday that she plans to go against party leaders and will introduce a resolution to launch impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump later this month, after rallying with progressive activists on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who made headlines in January when she vowed to "go in and impeach the motherf-----" at a event with progressive advocacy group MoveOn shortly after her swearing-in, announced her plans on Capitol Hill Tuesday with protests affiliated with By the People, a progressive organization focused on building support for impeaching Trump.
Several progressive House Democrats have already re-introduced impeachment resolutions in this session of Congress, but it's unlikely that leadership will consider any on the floor on in the House Judiciary Committee, which would lead and manage impeachment proceedings.
Trump raised Tlaib's off-the-cuff comments in January at a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House during the partial government shutdown, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned the conversation back to opening government, according to a Pelosi spokesman.
Tlaib accused Trump of obstructing justice and working to benefit financially of the presidency - a claim at the center of Democrats' concerns that Trump has violated a constitutional prohibition on foreign payments to the president while in office, and similar restrictions on domestic payments.
"If we don’t hold impeachment proceedings today, start them today and hold him accountable to following [the] United States Constitution, think about that, this is not going to be the last CEO running for president of the United States, this is not going to be the last person that is trying to get away with this," she said.
Demonstrators associated with progressive groups By the People and CREDO Action also demonstrated outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional office, where nine protesters were arrested for unlawful demonstration, according to Capitol Police spokesperson Evan Malecki.
Democratic leaders have been cautious around the issue of impeachment popular among some progressives, arguing that they have to wait for the results of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
"Impeachment is premature," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., a member of House Democratic leadership, told reporters Wednesday morning. "We are going to fight for a kitchen table, pocketbook issue-oriented agenda, while simultaneously, engaging in our oversight responsibilities. That does not involve impeachment.”
On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee launched a wide-ranging investigation into allegations of obstruction of justice, abuse of power and corruption, requesting documents and information from 81 prominent people and entities tied to the president, his campaign, and business empire.