By Aaron Rupar

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) at the ceremonial swearing-in of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on January 3, 2018.  

Rashida Tlaib went there — right away.

A video clip of new Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) dropping the f-bomb while calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment on Thursday evening quickly went viral.

Speaking at a MoveOn event in Washington, DC, just hours after being sworn in, Tlaib — the first Palestinian-American women in Congress — said, “When your son looks at you and said ‘Mamma, look, you won — bullies don’t win.’ And I said, ‘Baby they don’t, because we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherfucker!’”

Watch it for yourself:

.@RashidaTlaib saying it louder for the people in the back!! ✊ #116thCongress pic.twitter.com/VeUq0GwI5E

— UndocuNestor (@_NestorRuiz) January 4, 2019

While Tlaib’s profane language caused a stir, it wasn’t even the first time on Thursday that she called for Trump’s impeachment. Earlier in the day, the Detroit Free Press published an op-ed she co-authored titled, “Now is the time to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump.”

“President Donald Trump is a direct and serious threat to our country,” she wrote. “On an almost daily basis, he attacks our Constitution, our democracy, the rule of law and the people who are in this country. His conduct has created a constitutional crisis that we must confront now.”

The push for impeachment has already begun

Newly empowered House Democrats aren’t just making arguments to impeach Trump. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) has already announced he plans to introduce articles of impeachment as soon as possible.

Sherman was one of three Democrats — along with Reps. Al Green (D-TX) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) — who introduced resolutions to impeach Trump during the last Congress. But it’s a whole new ballgame now that Democrats have control of the House.

As Vox’s Andrew Prokop explained, Democratic leaders in the House are reluctant to make open calls for impeachment so far, but that could change — quickly.

Yet this measured approach could change very quickly if new and damning information about Trump were to emerge from one of the many investigations into him or his inner circle: special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, investigations into Trump’s campaign hush money and inauguration, and the new probes that will soon be launched by Democratic House committee chairs.

Impeachment is much more likely now for a very simple reason: It only takes a majority vote in the House to impeach a president, and Democrats now have a majority.

Tlaib is clearly tapping into a simmering grassroots appetite for impeachment. But, as Prokop explained, while Democrats could impeach Trump with a party-line vote in the House, it will be extremely difficult to remove him from office in the Republican-controlled Senate.

For that to happen, 20 or more Republican senators will need to vote in favor of Trump’s removal from office to hit the two-thirds threshold. As of now there’s no indication that anywhere near that number would do so.

“I don’t really like that kind of language”

Tlaib’s comments were a hot topic of discussion on Friday morning’s cable news shows. On CNN, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, distanced himself both from Tlaib’s sentiment and the way she expressed it.

“I don’t really like that kind of language. But more to the point, I disagree with what she said,” Nadler said. “It is too early to talk about that intelligently. We have to follow the facts. We have to get the facts. That’s why it’s important to protect the Mueller investigation. That’s why it’s important to do our own inquiry. We have to get the facts, and we’ll see where the facts lead — and maybe that’ll lead to impeachment, maybe it won’t.”

But in her op-ed, Tlaib addresses concerns like the one Nadler expressed about pursuing impeachment before Mueller’s work is completed.

“It is not Mueller’s role to determine whether the president has committed impeachable offenses. That is the responsibility of the US Congress,” she wrote. “Those who say we must wait for Special Counsel Mueller to complete his criminal investigation before Congress can start any impeachment proceedings ignore this crucial distinction. There is no requirement whatsoever that a president be charged with or be convicted of a crime before Congress can impeach him. They also ignore the fact that many of the impeachable offenses committed by this president are beyond the scope of the special counsel’s investigation.”

With regard to which impeachable offenses Tlaib thinks Trump has already committed, she specifically cites “obstructing justice; violating the emoluments clause; abusing the pardon power; directing or seeking to direct law enforcement to prosecute political adversaries for improper purposes; advocating illegal violence and undermining equal protection of the laws; ordering the cruel and unconstitutional imprisonment of children and their families at the southern border; and conspiring to illegally influence the 2016 election through a series of hush money payments.”

Trump himself, obviously doesn’t agree with this assessment:

How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time, done nothing wrong (no Collusion with Russia, it was the Dems that Colluded), had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history 93%?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2019

For now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left the door open to impeaching Trump, but her position seems to be more in line with Nalder than Tlaib.

Meanwhile, on Fox News, both House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and press secretary Sarah Sanders criticized Tlaib, with Sanders saying, “You will not impeach this president when he’s had two of the most successful years in modern history.”

While Tlaib hasn’t directly addressed the controversy created by her comments, on Friday morning she tweeted, “I will always speak truth to power.”

I will always speak truth to power. #unapologeticallyMe

— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) January 4, 2019

…read more

Read more here: Rashida Tlaib on Trump: “We’re going to impeach this motherfucker!”

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