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Democrat lawmaker files impeachment article against Trump

The move by Brad Sherman, a member of the House of Representatives from California, will not go anywhere without the support of Republicans, who control both chambers of congress

world Updated: Jul 14, 2017 08:14 IST
Yashwant Raj
Donald Trump upon his return to Washington from the G20 Summit on July 8, 2017.
Donald Trump upon his return to Washington from the G20 Summit on July 8, 2017. (Reuters)

Just hours before US President Donald Trump left for a state visit to France, a Democratic lawmaker moved an article of impeachment against him in a sign of growing combativeness of his opponents bolstered by new Russia-related revelations.

The impeachment move by Brad Sherman, a member of the House of Representatives from California, will not go anywhere without the support of Republicans, who control both chambers of congress and are not abandoning their man in the White House, despite mounting frustration with him.

Not yet, at least.

But some Republicans are barely able to conceal their irritation, specially over the Russia meddling controversy that continues to throw up new surprises and revelations with unrelenting frequency.

“You should get everyone in a room, and from the moment you watched either Dr Zhivago or read Brothers Karamazov to the point you had a shot of liquor with a guy in a furry hat, you need to disclose every contact you have ever had with Russia,” Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina and a Trump supporter, said on a TV show on Wednesday.

“We’re not going to have any more of these disclosures coming out on the front page of the newspaper,” he said. “Go ahead and tell the special counsel every connection you’ve had.”

Gowdy was irritated about new disclosures about a meeting Donald Trump Jr, the president’s eldest son and key campaign adviser, had with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 to obtain campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton that was part of the Kremlin’s larger effort to influence the election and help Trump win the presidency.

Trump appeared frustrated himself by the continuing controversy and sent out a string of tweets pushing back against it.

“The W.H. is functioning perfectly, focused on HealthCare, Tax Cuts/Reform & many other things. I have very little time for watching T.V.” Trump tweeted shortly after an online news report about him being glued to television.

And in an interview to a TV network, Trump said that while he got along “very, very well” with President Vladimir Putin when they met on the sidelines of the G20 meetings, the Russian leader might prefer Hillary Clinton to him.

Calling himself a “big military person”, Trump said under Clinton, “our military would be decimated. Our energy would be much more expensive. That’s what Putin doesn’t like about me. And that’s why I say, why would he want me?”

Trump has been irritated by reports, based on the assessment of the US intelligence community, that Russian meddled in the 2016 election to defeat Clinton and help him win. He takes that as a challenge to the legitimacy of his victory.

He has found it difficult to acknowledge thus that Russia interfered at all, and was only too happy and willing to accept Putin’s denial of it when they met. “I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I’ve already given my opinion.....” he tweeted.