A few weeks ago I contacted Congresswoman Trahan via her website to express my support for impeachment and received the following reply:
Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for impeaching the President of the United States, Donald Trump.
As you may know, impeachment is a two-step process which involves both the House and the Senate. Impeaching President Trump would require a majority vote in the House and a 2/3 support vote in the Senate. Since taking office in 2017, President Trump has demonstrated he is not properly fit for office and has weakened the United States’ standing in the world while also continuing to use heated rhetoric to divide the country. President Trump has failed to provide our country with moral leadership, repeatedly lied to the American people, and has targeted immigrants and communities of color in shameful ways.
President Trump’s failures in office extend beyond his inability to unite our country. On matters of policy – his push to undermine the Affordable Care Act and take health care coverage away from millions of Americans, prioritize millionaires, billionaires and corporations over working and middle class families, and spend billions in taxpayer dollars on an ineffective border wall show how out of touch he is with the interests of the American people.
Since President Trump has been elected, I have been incredibly inspired by local, grass roots organizations, that have emerged to actively oppose these divisive policies. The engagement and advocacy of Americans across this country has led to change at the ballot box and helped to block some of this Administration’s most indefensible actions including the family separation policy at the border and the government shutdown. Activists spoke up about corruption by cabinet secretaries like Ryan Zinke, Tom Price, and Scott Pruitt and they were all forced to resign. Grass roots organizations have been pivotal in holding this Administration and this Congress accountable and I’m confident that concerned citizens like you will be instrumental in affecting positive change in our government.
I ran for Congress because I believed Washington wasn’t doing enough to help working people. That has been the focus of my efforts. That said, President Trump’s failure to acknowledge the oversight role of Congress is a direct threat to our system of government, and it threatens to harm the people I ran for office to represent. I strongly support the House Committees which are investigating the numerous corruption allegations against this Administration. I am hopeful that in the coming weeks, more questions will be answered as we analyze the complete, un-redacted report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. I will continue to evaluate the evidence.
As always, I am committed to doing whatever possible to win at the ballot box in 2020 and elevating the Democrats’ For the People agenda to ensure high quality, universal healthcare, more accessible and affordable education, an economy that benefits everyone, and a government that puts people ahead of corporations and special interests.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. If I can be of further assistance, please give me a call at (978) 459-0101. If you would like to receive regular updates from me on this and other congressional issues, please visit my website or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
The most frustrating part of this reply is the explanation of impeachment being a two-step process which technically is not correct. The Senate has to vote to remove, but Presidents Johnson and Clinton will go down in history as having been impeached even though they were not removed. Impeachment involves only the House and is a tool for getting things on the record. I called her office to say I really wanted Trump impeached regardless of political consequences or likelihood of Senate removal and got another copy of the same form letter for my trouble.
Today, Congresswoman Trahan posted the following on her Facebook page:
I believe it is time to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. This is not a decision I came to lightly. As a staffer during the Clinton impeachment, I’ve seen firsthand how disruptive this process can be for our nation. But no President – including this one — is above the law.
This administration has continuously failed to cooperate with legitimate congressional oversight and the laws set forth by Congress. Special Counsel Mueller, a Republican who was appointed by George W. Bush to lead the FBI, was tapped by Donald Trump’s own Justice Department to investigate Trump’s conduct because of his objectivity and professionalism. Mueller’s message to the American people today was clear: his report did not exonerate the President, and that there is ample evidence that the President broke the law by repeatedly engaging in efforts to obstruct the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. It is up to Congress to act to determine the truth.
I ran for Congress to represent the district I’ve called home my entire life and to be a champion for hardworking families like the one I grew up in. While fighting to give Americans a raise; increasing access to quality and affordable health care; and making avenues of higher education available to all remains my top priority, this moment demands that we in Congress move to defend our democracy and our system of checks and balances against a President who has little regard for both.
I very highly doubt that simply watching today’s hearings changed her mind on a dime, but I’m wondering whether she and some of her colleagues were waiting for the hearings to happen as being politically the right moment and that more will feel safe favoring impeachment after today. Having read the publicly available Mueller report I did not actually learn much new today, but the vast majority of Americans get their information from TV and have not read the report so this could still be a watershed moment.