It was Rashida Tlaib’s first day.
Sworn in as a Democratic representative for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, Tlaib wasted little time calling on fellow legislators to take steps toward impeaching U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday.
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Tlaib made history as she and Ilhan Omar became the first Muslim women elected to Congress in November’s midterm elections.
She took two steps in an effort urging Trump’s impeachment on her first day in office.
First, she and activist John Bonifaz published an op-ed for the Detroit Free Press, in which they urged politicians to begin the process of impeaching Trump right now.
Then, she appeared at an event put on by political action committee MoveOn.
There, to loud cheers, she said, “we’re going to go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherf*****.”
In the op-ed, Tlaib and Bonifaz wrote that Congress doesn’t need to wait on the outcome of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign.
They wrote that Congress can commence an inquiry into whether Trump has committed impeachable offenses against the United States by allegedly abusing his power and the public trust.
“…It is not Mueller’s role to determine whether the president has committed impeachable offenses,” the op-ed read.
“That is the responsibility of the U.S. Congress.”
The position marks a departure from the one espoused by newly-re-elected Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi.
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In November, she called impeachment a “divisive activity” that should be carried out in a bipartisan manner.
“If the case is there, then that should be self-evident to Democrats and Republicans,” Pelosi said.
Nevertheless, the party has the power to start the ball rolling, if they wish.
Under the U.S. Constitution, a sitting president can be pushed out of office after being impeached and convicted for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The House can charge a president with a crime through a majority vote — and the Democrats have the numbers to do it.
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Such a move would then go through the U.S. Senate, where members would have to remove a president through a two-thirds vote.
Republicans hold the most seats in that chamber.
Presidents have been impeached in the past — Andrew Johnson was in 1868 and Bill Clinton was in 1998 — but none have actually been dismissed from office.
U.S. politics researcher John McAndrews has said Trump’s impeachment would be a “big leap” — and a “dangerous” one.
READ MORE: Democrats in no rush to impeach Donald Trump
Tlaib isn’t the only Democrat who went after Trump on Thursday.
Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen introduced two constitutional amendments: one to limit the president’s power to pardon himself, another to eliminate the Electoral College.
“Presidents should not pardon themselves, their families, their administration or campaign staff,” Cohen said in a statement.
“This constitutional amendment would expressly prohibit this and any future president, from abusing the pardon power.”
Any constitutional amendment would need a two-thirds vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
- With files from Katie Dangerfield
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