Huffman joins House group backing Trump impeachment

March 05, 2018

Democratic congressman, who has joined as co-sponsor of articles of impeachment against Trump. Huffman, a vocal critic of Trump for many months, said, “Now it’s becoming so compelling and imperative that it feels like the right time (to sign on).”

Members of the Marin County Republican Party, however, said Huffman’s move was “grandstand play” and a “waste of time and taxpayers’ money” because the GOP-controlled U.S. House will never bring the resolution forward for a vote.

“It’s frivolous,” said Tom Montgomery, former Marin GOP chairman. “Especially since it’s not going anywhere.

“It’s just a waste of time and wasting the taxpayers’ money,” Montgomery added. “He’s just doing it for his own political gain.”

The resolution, introduced last November by Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, identifies a series of five articles of impeachment, each one containing up to a half-dozen specific events or alleged violations.

The five articles listed are: obstruction of justice, violation of the foreign emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution, violation of the domestic emoluments clause, undermining the independence of the federal judiciary and the rule of law, and undermining the freedom of the press.

The specific events or alleged violations are those widely reported in the media, such as the firing of FBI Director James Comey (under obstruction of justice), or Trump refusing to release his tax returns (under both the foreign and the domestic emoluments clauses).

Under the article about undermining the judiciary is Trump’s calling a U.S. District Court judge a “so-called judge.” As to undermining freedom of the press, the article lists President Trump’s references to “fake news.”

“I’m co-sponsoring Rep. Cohen’s articles of impeachment because they focus on the most serious and egregious examples of President Trump’s impeachable actions,” Huffman said in written statement. “His obstruction of justice, his unprecedented conflicts of interest, his unwillingness or inability to credibly and forthrightly address Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and his recklessness with matters of national security.”

Other lawmakers who signed onto the resolution when it was announced in November are Democratic Reps. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, Al Green of Texas, Marcia Fudge of Ohio, Adriano Espaillat of New York and John Yarmuth of Kentucky. Cohen said at the time that he understands that Republicans hold the majority in the House and are unlikely to allow hearings on the impeachment articles.

Jack Wilkinson, treasurer of the Marin County Republican Party, dismissed Huffman’s actions as “a grandstand play” that “ignores the voters.”

He said the founding fathers at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 determined impeachment was only for “high crimes and misdemeanors — none of which President Trump has done.”

“I haven’t seen that (Trump) has done anything wrong,” he added. “It’s a grandstand move by the Democrats — they’ve been trying for a year and a half to bring up collusion (with Russian interference in the 2016 elections), and there’s nothing there.”

According to Wilkinson, Trump “has done nothing that would rise to the level of impeachable offenses,” he said. “What he’s done is bamboozle the Democrats.”

Wilkinson said he felt the focus should be more on alleged wrongdoing by the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department — as referenced in a memo released by House Republicans in the intelligence committee.

“Nobody wants to answer any of those questions (raised in the memo),” Wilkinson said. “The Constitution is supposed to limit the government, not empower the government — it’s supposed to empower the people.”

Huffman, meanwhile, said he felt compelled to act in light of recent indictments and new evidence from the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

“There’s a certain ripeness I feel unfolding,” he said Thursday. “With the Mueller indictments, and other corruption, abuses of power — it keeps getting worse and worse.”

Huffman added that it was Mueller’s indictment last month of 13 Russians for their role in interfering with the elections — and Trump’s alleged lack of reaction to it — that convinced him it was time to act. In recent days, top federal security officials have testified publicly that the Russians are still attacking the U.S. cyberspace and are gearing up to interfere in the November elections — but that the president has still not issued an order to try to stop it.

“Trump still hasn’t acknowledged what happened with Russia and he still hasn’t lifted a finger to do anything about it,” Huffman said. “It’s a violation of our country and our democracy — we have to take it seriously; the consequences of not taking it seriously are breathtaking.”

Huffman said impeachment was the best option since the president has allegedly shown he is not willing to stand up to Russia.

“He’s fundamentally compromised on this issue, and the country can’t have faith in his ability to do the job,” he said. “He either fears his legitimacy (in office) or he’s actually compromised — and neither is an excuse not to take (Russian interference) seriously.”

Huffman cautioned, however, that people “shouldn’t get their hopes up” that impeachment would happen any time soon.

“It’s going to take more indictments from Mueller or a new Congress,” he said.


Source: by Keri Brenner