Will Trump Be Impeached? Even Congressman Leading a Charge Doesn't Think So

Donald Trump
"I'm circulating the articles [of impeachment] to try to move one step closer in the process and also, hopefully...push the White House to say we've got to move toward competence," California Democrat Brad Sherman told the Los Angeles Times. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

So impeachment: Will it happen or not? Opponents of President Donald Trump have pointed to myriad reasons he is unfit to lead the country, but the idea of actually removing him from office didn't really take hold until former FBI Director James Comey said Trump urged him to drop the agency's investigation into then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's ties to Russia. Robert Reich has argued that this in itself was enough to justify impeachment, as it fits squarely within the definition of obstruction of justice, a federal crime.

Related: Robert Reich: There's more than enough evidence to impeach Trump

But to impeach Trump, a resolution would have to pass in the Republican-controlled House and then receive a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which is also controlled by the GOP. Considering the obstruction of justice charge comes down to Trump's word versus Comey's—and also to the definition of obstruction of justice—it's just not going to happen.

Representative Brad Sherman knows this, but that didn't stop him from drafting and circulating articles of impeachment. According to the Los Angeles Times, the California Democrat has "no illusions" that, in the end, nothing concrete will come of his move. But he thinks it could help put pressure on the Trump administration.

"I think that the president's approach to governance is a threat to the republic," Sherman told the Times. "I'm circulating the articles to try to move one step closer in the process and also, hopefully…push the White House to say we've got to move toward competence."

Though many Democrats, perhaps most notably Representative Maxine Waters of California, have called for Trump's impeachment, Sherman is the only one to actually circulate the articles of impeachment. Representative Al Green of Texas also said he has drafted the articles, but unlike Sherman he has not released them.

"Donald John Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States," Sherman said in his articles of impeachment.

But as the Times notes, Sherman's decision isn't necessarily a popular one among Democrats, many of whom says that talk of impeachment is premature and that energy should be focused on more pressing issues, like health care and Trump's relationship with Russia.

After talk of removing Trump from office swelled in early June, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warned that it's a "big deal" to talk about impeachment so early and that Democrats should give Trump time to "self-impeach."

Though Sherman says he is trying to put pressure on the White House, the Times notes that he is a more locally focused congressman who hasn't spoken out against Trump to the degree that some of his colleagues have, and that the move to impeach may also be in service of potential ambitions to run for governor or for Senator Dianne Feinstein's seat, should she choose to retire.

Either way, Sherman has assured Democrats that he will not make any effort to bring the articles to the House floor without the approval of other Democrats. Though health care reform and the economy may be of more concern at the moment, there's no telling where planting the seed of impeachment could eventually lead.