WASHINGTON — Congressman Steve Cohen announced he will soon introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
The Memphis Democrat acknowledged that the chance of impeachment passing at the moment was slim with Republicans controlling both houses, but said he hoped it would help push Democrats, and perhaps Republicans, into taking action in the future.
If Democrats make gains in Congress in 2018, he said, impeachment would become a "front-line issue."
In a release sent out Thursday, Cohen said comments made by the President following the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia show he "lacks the ethical and moral rectitude to be President of the United States."
"President Trump has failed the presidential test of moral leadership. No moral president would ever shy away from outright condemning hate, intolerance, and bigotry."
Cohen continued by stating neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan are domestic terrorists and the President's comment that "there were very fine people on both sides" demonstrates his inability or unwillingness to protect Americans from enemies.
He noted that he is Jewish, and represents a district that is majority African-American.
"When I watched the videos from the protests in Charlottesville, it reminded me of the videos I’ve seen of Kristallnacht in 1938 in Nazi Germany. It appeared that the Charlottesville protesters were chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’ and ‘blood and soil,’ an infamous Nazi slogan, as they marched with torches that conjured up images of Klan rallies. None of the marchers spewing such verbiage could be considered ‘very fine people’ as the President suggested."
Cohen said the resolution will be finished in the next week or two. The House is currently in recess and goes back in session Sept. 5.
Beyond the president's response to the march in Charlottesville, Cohen singled out Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey as an alleged obstruction of justice, alleged violations of the emoluments clause preventing the president from benefiting financially from foreign powers and the ongoing investigation of his campaign's possible collusion with Russia as reasons for pursuing impeachment.
A PRRI poll released Thursday indicated 40 percent of Americans supported impeaching Trump, while 53 percent oppose.
This is not the first time Cohen has submitted a resolution against the President.
In July, he introduced a resolution of no confidence in the commander-in-chief for "unacceptable behavior" including the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, the release of classified information to Russia, his use of Twitter, his refusal to release his tax returns and his inability to dissociate himself from his private business interests.
Rep. Brad Sherman of California filed articles of impeachment against Trump in July.
Cohen represents Tennessee’s 9th District, which includes most of Memphis.