Rashida Tlaib calls to impeach Trump on her first day in Congress

Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators House passes spending bill to boost Capitol Police and Hill staffer pay Omar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy MORE (D-Mich.) called to impeach President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE on her first day in Congress in an op-ed on Thursday in the Detroit Free Press titled "Now is the time to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump." 

Tlaib in the article, co-written by Trump impeachment advocate John Bonifaz, drew a distinction between "the power of a criminal prosecution" and "the impeachment power."

ADVERTISEMENT

"While Congress has the impeachment power to prevent future harm to our government, prosecutors have the power to seek punishment for those who commit crimes," Tlaib and Bonifaz wrote.

"Those who say we must wait for Special Counsel Mueller to complete his criminal investigation before Congress can start any impeachment proceedings ignore this crucial distinction," the article continues.

The op-ed is a break from top Democratic leaders who have said they are waiting to see the final results from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's Russia investigation before they seriously examine impeachment.

Newly-elected Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions Overnight Health Care: Average daily COVID infections topped last summer's peak, CDC says | US reaches 70 percent vaccination goal a month after Biden's target | White House says CDC can't renew eviction ban Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban MORE (D-Calif.) told USA Today in an article published Thursday that she does not intend to seek grounds for impeachment unless it's "clearly bipartisan." 

"We already have overwhelming evidence that the president has committed impeachable offenses," Tlaib and Bonifaz wrote. They went on to accuse Trump of offenses including obstruction of justice, "violating the emoluments clause," "abusing the pardon power," "directing or seeking to direct law enforcement to prosecute political adversaries for improper purposes," and more.

 "This is not just about Donald Trump," they wrote. "This is about all of us. What should we be as a nation? Who should we be as a people? In the face of this constitutional crisis, we must rise."

Tlaib throughout her campaign pushed Trump's impeachment as a central tenant of her platform. 

“I keep telling people this is about electing a jury that will impeach him, and I make a heck of a juror,” Tlaib, one of the first of two Muslim women elected to Congress this year, told The Hill in April. 

Tlaib in the article also rejected arguments that seeking to impeach Trump is "politically unwise."

"Such a claim places partisan gamesmanship over our country and our most vulnerable at this perilous moment in our nation’s history," she wrote.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) intends to introduce articles of impeachment against Trump on Thursday as the new session of Congress convenes, The Los Angeles Times reported. 

A measure to impeach Trump filed by Sherman in 2017 overwhelmingly failed. 

Democrats will have a greater ability to bring impeachment measures to the floor now that they have taken the majority.