Democrat congressman discusses impeaching Donald Trump in US House of Representatives

Mr Trump should 'address the serious criticism that have been levelled at him', says congressman Mark Pocan

Charlotte England
Tuesday 14 February 2017 14:02 GMT
US Congressman Mark Pocan
US Congressman Mark Pocan (AFP/Getty Images)

The possibility of impeaching Donald Trump has been raised by a Democratic congressman to keep “every option open” when dealing with the US President.

Mark Pocan told the House of Representatives that they need “to try to get this administration to function like any other administration in the past—Democrat or Republican”.

The Wisconsin politician added: “Clearly, one of those remedies is the power of impeachment.”

Mr Trump's aides have attacked “impeachment” as “extreme rhetoric from a completely out-of-touch party”.

But Mr Pocan told representatives that impeachment is actually a valid political tool, designed to hold members of the executive branch to account.

“Mr President, it’s time for you to fix this,” he said, before calling on Mr Trump to address the serious criticisms which have been levelled at him since he took office, or face the consequences.

A fierce critic of the former reality TV star Mr Pocan used a map of the Middle East to illustrate “another round of questions about President Trump’s potential conflicts of interest over his business holdings”.

Pointing to the countries that were targeted by Mr Trump’s executive order restricting travel from predominantly Muslim countries, he said: "These seven countries do have at least one thing in common. According to Bloomberg News, the Trump Organisation does not have business or pursued business deals in any of them.”

He added that Mr Trump does have business interests in other Muslim countries — Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and potentially Egypt — which were not affected by the ban.

"It is unacceptable that business interests have played potentially a role in such a destructive policy, a policy that also makes our country less safe in the long run," he said. “It’s time for the president to stop defending his divisive and unconstitutional executive order and start being transparent about his business interests."

He stressed that impeachment is not a legal mechanism, it is a political act, and should be considered as such.

The US founders intentionally employed the catch-all phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” to give representatives and senators the power to hold presidents, vice presidents, cabinet members, and other errant officials to account.

An impeached official is not charged by a prosecutor and tried in the courts, nor is he or she jailed or fined if found guilty. An impeached official is charged by the House of Representatives, tried by the Senate, and removed from office if convicted.

Should the president fail to address potential conflicts and embrace necessary transparency, Mr Pocan said, “we’ll have to take other actions, including legislative directives, resolutions of disapproval and even explore the power of impeachment”.

In a recent poll 46 per cent of registered voters said they thought Mr Trump should be impeached, nine per cent said that they did not know and only 45 per cent said he should not be removed from office.

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