Two Democrats in the House of Representatives have formally introduced the articles of impeachment.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Rep. Al Green (D-TX) argue that President Trump obstructed justice during James Comey’s investigation into Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia. The two representatives claim that Donald Trump Jr.’s recent email disclosures imply the President must have been hiding some connection between his campaign and the Russian government. In Sherman’s statement he said:
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 cites 18 U.S.C. § 1512 (b)(3) as the basis of his claim for obstruction of justice. This statute states:
(b)Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to—
(3) hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation supervised release,, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
Donald Trump Jr.s’ emails don’t seem to add any evidence against President Trump himself based on this law. This has most Republican’s assuming the move is purely political.
In fact, according to Sherman himself, the goal of filing these charges is twofold. They believe that this may act as an intervention against the White House, and force the Trump administration to act more presidential. It could also lead to a broader investigation against President Trump, eventually unearthing more evidence of collusion and causing Republicans to join the impeachment efforts.
Since the Republicans control the House and the Senate, Sherman and Green would likely need to reveal major evidence to get any support across the aisle. Most scholars believe the disclosed email chain does not implicate President Trump, even if it looks bad for his son. This action was most likely taken as part of the ongoing Democrat efforts to halt the President’s agenda, and without anymore evidence, it’s not likely to gain any traction.