A Few Democrats Move to Impeach Trump Over FBI Firing and Hotel Income, But Quest Is Doomed

WASHINGTON - A small group of liberal Democrats in the U.S. House filed articles of impeachment Wednesday in a bid to remove President Donald Trump, accusing him of obstruction of justice, taking payments from foreign governments and profiting from his office.The allegations are familiar to anyone who's paid even occasional attention in the eventful 10 months of the Trump administration.Although Trump is one of the least popular and most controversial figures to occupy the White House, the effort seems unlikely to gain traction, Democratic leaders have shunned talk of impeachment for months, calling it premature with ongoing congressional investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and a special council still probing for evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump campaign aides.Republicans control the House and Senate, and their leaders reject the idea outright.Rep. Al Green of Houston and four others announced their five articles of impeachment at the Capitol."This brings us another step closer to impeachment," said Green, who first called for Trump's impeachment in May. In September, he demanded impeachment over Trump's attacks on NFL football players who knelt during the National Anthem. Despite repeated threats, until now he had not filed formal articles of impeachment.Removing a president from office is a two-step process. First the House must agree to a set of accusations, akin to a criminal indictment. A trial would then be held in the Senate to determine whether to convict.One article filed Wednesday accuses Trump of obstruction of justice over the firing of FBI director James Comey in an effort to derail an investigation into collusion between Russia and his campaign.The firing led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who has been brought charges against Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. A foreign policy adviser, George Papadopolous, met with Russian agents promising "dirt" on Hillary Clinton and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, cooperating secretly with Mueller for months.A separate article accuses Trump of violating the Constitution's ban on foreign emoluments, or payments, because he has retained a 77 percent ownership in a hotel near the White House that has "actively courted foreign diplomats for their business," and which diplomats regularly frequent.  Continue reading...

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