Impeachment Petition Filed Against Trump

Democrat Brad Sherman of California on Wednesday followed through on a threat to seek to remove Trump from office over what he said amounted to obstruction of justice. The congressman filed a four-page resolution aimed at "impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors." But Washington insiders said the resolution was a long shot, and would have little chance of passing due to the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. His paper also has little support from the Democrats, some of whom have argued that any attempt to impeach Trump will only galvanize his supporters.

Several allegations cited

Sherman highlighted Trump's apparent effort to quash a probe into his campaign's alleged links with Russian officials before last November's presidential election. US intelligence agencies have accused Moscow of seeking to influence the poll in the billionaire's favor, and investigations are underway into whether there was collusion between Trump's team and the Kremlin. Also mentioned were this week's revelations from the New York Times that Trump's eldest son met with a Russian lawyer last June in the hope of receiving potentially explosive information on White House rival Hillary Clinton. "Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr. indicate that Trump's campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia," Sherman said in a statement.

In his filing, the lawmaker also mentioned the probe into National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who stepped down after just 24 days in office after being implicated in the scandal. Trump's behavior around the dismissal in May of FBI Director James Comey was also cited. "I believe his (Trump's) conversations with, and subsequent firing of, FBI Director James Comey constitute obstruction of justice," he said. Sherman acknowledged that filing the article was "the first step on a very long road."

'Putin wanted Hillary'

Hours before the article was filed, Trump said in an interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin would rather have seen Hillary Clinton win the White House. Describing himself as a "big military person," Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) he would not be Putin's choice for president. Trump said Putin opposes his energy policy, which calls for an increase in US exports and emphasizes mining more oil and gas to lower the cost. "So there are many things that I do that are the exact opposite of what he would want. So what I keep hearing about that he would have rather had Trump, I think 'probably not,'" the US president said. In response to the impeachment bid, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders denounced the resolution as "utterly and completely ridiculous" and "a political game at its worst."