A few local groups are joining a push to look into the impeachment of President Donald Trump, gathering at Esther Short Park June 15 to rally support on pressuring Congress to start the process.
A crowd approaching 100 gathered at the park as part of an “Impeachment Inquiry Now!” event, coordinated by MoveOn and Indivisible Greater Vancouver. The event had speakers urging those gathered to pressure U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, to be part of House Resolution 257, titled “Inquiring whether the House of Representatives should impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America.”
A table was set up where attendees could write and send letters to Herrera Beutler, calling for her support of the resolution and an impeachment inquiry in general. As of press deadline, 15 members of Congress had sponsored the resolution, all Democrats.
Speaker Donna Sinclair, a history professor at WSU Vancouver, explained that impeachment was “a process, not an outcome” — impeachment charges would first be approved by the House Judiciary Committee before a full House vote, which upon their approval would bring the case to the Senate which would put the president on trial to determine if he or she would be convicted.
Sinclair noted that for impeachment there would need to be charges of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” as per the Constitution — many of those gathered let it known they believed Trump was guilty of one or all three.
Sinclair touched on the recent report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which although fell short of outright charging Trump with any crime she said had enough evidence to allow for impeachment.
“We must demand an inquiry. We have a representative right down the street,” Sinclair said.
“With Trump, you had me at the emoluments clause,” Indivisible Greater Vancouver member Shirin Elkoshairi led off in his speech. He said money spent on government visits to Trump properties was in violation of the clause.
Elkoshairi said it was important to be tenacious in political action, calling for individuals on the Left to take the gloves off.
“I don’t know why we as progressives … we’re just so gentle,” Elkoshairi remarked. “It’s not working.”
“What we’re asking for is not above the law. It’s completely within the guidelines of the Constitution,” Elkoshairi said.
Jeremy Chase, a member of MoveOn, read off his letter to Herrera Beutler calling for an impeachment inquiry.
“It doesn’t matter if the senate ignores those requests (for inquiry). It’s important that the only check that we have right now on the 45th President of these United States come from the people, for the people that continue to be ignored by this administration,” Chase read.
Chase said he made the decision to speak to bring some positivity to the rally. He pointed to the Women’s March, demonstrations against travel bans, protecting the Affordable Care Act and success in the 2018 midterms as evidence of progress on the progressive fronts.
“We have to remember the wins. That’s how we keep going,” Chase said.
Opposition to the rally only manifested itself by a single passerby yelling briefly during the event.