Trump Impeachment Could Be Demanded By Powerful Congressional Black Caucus After Meeting Next Week

Donald Trump, Congressional Black caucus
President Donald Trump meets with the Congressional Black Caucus Executive Committee at the White House in Washington, March 22. Jim Watson/Getty Images

The Congressional Black Caucus will hold a meeting next week to discuss whether to call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Following Trump’s response to deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month, the CBC chairman, Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, said the 49-member caucus would have a discussion on Trump’s possible impeachment when Congress reconvened after the August recess.

Related: Impeach Trump or else: Top Democrat pays price for urging ‘patience’ with the president 

Those talks will take place next Wednesday, a CBC staffer confirmed to Newsweek on Thursday. While it was initially anticipated that the discussions would happen at this week’s meeting, relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey and in anticipation of Hurricane Irma took priority. Still, members were given background information on the impeachment process and the details on all the federal officials who have previously been subject to impeachment.

The CBC was among the first parties in Congress to call for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, when it filed a resolution in the House of Representatives in 1973. The following year, Nixon resigned with his impeachment considered a virtual certainty.

Representative Al Green of Texas became the first Democrat to call for Trump’s removal from office, in May. He later supported California Representative Brad Sherman when he introduced articles of impeachment against the president the following month, alleging obstruction of justice over the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Representative Maxine Waters, one of Trump’s fiercest critics, has also called to impeach Trump, and Representative Gwen Moore became the most recent member to do so, following Trump’s blaming of “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville.

“For the sake of the soul of our country, we must come together to restore our national dignity that has been robbed by Donald Trump’s presence in the White House,” Moore, a Democrat from Wisconsin, said last month. “My Republican friends, I implore you to work with us within our capacity as elected officials to remove this man as our commander-in-chief and help us move forward from this dark period in our nation’s history.”  

While Charlottesville may have been the tipping point, the CBC will look at a variety of issues that could be grounds for impeachment, including alleged violations of the emoluments cause and Trump’s fitness to serve. The case against Nixon will be studied closely as a guiding comparison.

Despite three members going on record urging Trump’s removal, a CBC staffer said “we have not made a decision yet” over whether the group would take the step of formally calling for the president’s impeachment. No preliminary discussions have yet taken place.

If there is a sense that the members are moving in the direction of impeachment, a vote could be called for. General policy is that a majority vote is required for a motion to pass, although because of the seriousness of this issue more than a simple majority may be deemed necessary.

For the Congressional Black Caucus, which encompasses 47 members in the House of Representatives and two in the Senate, calling for the removal of the president would undeniably be a powerful statement. However, there is little chance that it would bring about Trump’s exit any time soon. A majority vote in the House is required to impeach a president, followed by a two-thirds majority in the Senate in order to convict.

Republicans currently control both chambers and there have only been limited signs thus far of the party publicly abandoning their president. Also, Trump in recent days has reached out to leading Democrats over increasing the debt ceiling, a move that could win him some support.