Like many outspoken critics of President Donald Trump, Rep. Maxine Waters has had it up to here with the newly elected U.S. leader and expresses hopes that his latest actions will eventually lead to his impeachment.
Waters told reporters on Monday, Feb. 6, that Trump’s antics were “leading him” to possibly being booted from office, piggy-backing off of comments from last week, when she tweeted that her “greatest desire was to lead @realDoanldTrump right into impeachment.”
“I have not called for the impeachment yet,” Waters said when asked about her comment at a press conference on Monday. “He’s doing it himself.
“Let me just say that the statement I made was a statement in response to questions and pleas that I’m getting from many citizens across this country,” she continued. “‘What are we going to do? How can a president act in the manner that he’s acting?'”
The California Democrat also expressed concern over Trump’s recent travel ban order, which permanently barred Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. and temporarily halted all travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. The ban sparked nationwide outrage, prompting thousands of Americans to rally in support of those affected by the order. Waters also criticized Trump for making derogatory comments about Muslims and made sure to point out his questionable friendship with Russian Leader Vladmir Putin.
“I think that he’s leading himself in that kind of position, where folks are going to ask, ‘What are we going to do?’ and the answer is going to be, ‘Eventually, we’ve got to do something about him,'” she said. “We cannot continue to have a president who’s acting in this manner. It’s dangerous to the United States of America.”
House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi wasn’t as gung-ho about spearheading efforts to impeach Trump, however. She told reporters during the same news conference Monday that impeachment would only be an option “when and if” Trump breaks the law, CNN reported.
“I’m not here to talk about impeachment today,” Pelosi said. “Any of the things that [Waters] said are grounds for displeasure and unease in the public about the performance of this president, who has acted in a way that is strategically incoherent, that is incompetent and that is reckless. And that is not grounds for impeachment.”
“When and if he breaks the law, that is when something like that would come up, but that is not the subject of today,” she added.
Though Pelosi maintains that Trump hasn’t committed an impeachable offense yet, opinion contributor Norman Solomon, who writes for The Hill, thinks that the House should begin its impeachment process against the president right now. In his latest piece for the news site, Solomon cited a recent poll from Public Policy Polling showing that 40 percent of Americans were already in support of impeaching Trump. He also asserted that the real estate tycoon-turned-politician has violated laws laid out in the U.S. Constitution ever since he took office.
“The Constitution states that to start impeachment proceedings, a document or ‘resolution calling for a committee investigation of charges against the officer in question’ must be introduced in the House of Representatives,” Solomon wrote. “Such a move would have been appropriate from the moment that Trump became president.”
So far, more than 600,000 people have signed a petition for the president’s impeachment on ImpeachDoanldTrump.org. In his article, Solomon pointed out how Trump continues to violate two “emoluments” clauses in the Constitution that forbid any gifts or benefits from foreign governments and the same from the U.S. government or any U.S. state. He also mentioned Trump’s various conflicts of interests stemming from his multimillion-dollar business deals at home and overseas.
To get the ball rolling on the impeachment process, however, a resolute member of the House would now have to take the lead in introducing a resolution to kick Trump out of office, which Solomon called a “difficult” but “essential” task.
“A crucial test for democracy is whether people in high places can violate the law with impunity,” he said. “For democracy in the United States, the biggest danger is unchecked presidential ability to violate the Constitution.
“Let the exploration [of the power of impeachment] begin.”
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) February 6, 2017