A Democratic congresswoman who sparked outrage earlier this year with a profanity-laced vow to impeach President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that she intends to file the necessary paperwork in March.
“Later on this month, I will be joining folks and advocates across the country to file the impeachment resolution to start the impeachment proceedings,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said at a news conference.
Tlaib has continued to defend her call to impeach Trump despite backlash from seniors members of her party, who have taken a more cautious approach.
“This is an emergency for many of us,” Tlaib said Wednesday. “We cannot allow the pay-to-play to continue. We cannot allow the direct violation of the Emoluments Clause. Anybody else would already be in impeachment proceedings.”
The freshman congresswoman went viral on her first day in Congress after she said she would “impeach the motherf—–,” a comment which drew criticism from senior members of her caucus including Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, who chairs the committee that is charged with overseeing impeachment proceedings.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In January, responding to Tlaib’s earlier comments, Trump told reporters that “you can’t impeach somebody that’s doing a great job.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who shepherded the party through the November midterms with a strategy that largely avoided direct mentions of the president, has also been wary of pushing ahead with impeachment talk. In an interview with the Rolling Stone published last month, Pelosi noted that impeachment could be “disruptive.”
“It’s an opportunity cost in terms of time and resources,” Pelosi said. “You don’t want to go down that path unless it is unavoidable.”
Tlaib said Wednesday that she wanted to move forward with a policy agenda focused on economic and racial justice, “but guess what, there is a wall there, and a constitutional crisis.”
“I think every single colleague of mine agrees there is impeachable offenses, that’s one thing that we all agree on,” she said.
Nadler said in December that he believed federal prosecutors had accused the president of impeachable offenses in connection with his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and to committing campaign finance violations at the president’s direction.
“Whether they are important enough to justify impeachment is a different question, but certainly they’d be impeachable offenses,” Nadler told CNN. The president has denied any wrongdoing and has accused Cohen of lying. Nadler’s office did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Most Americans do not support impeachment, though nearly two-thirds of Democrats are in favor, polls show. In a Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday, 59 percent of American voters said Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings.
In the same poll, nearly two-thirds of voters said that Trump committed crimes before becoming president. Voters are split over whether Trump has committed crimes while president.
Top Democrats including Pelosi have said that impeachment talks are contingent on the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading a Justice Department investigation into the president’s 2016 campaign.
That investigation, which some expect to conclude soon, has resulted in a number of convictions and guilty pleas from those in the top echelons of the president’s political orbit, including his former campaign chairman and his former national security advisor.