A California Democrat seems to think that President Trump shouldn’t get too comfortable in the White House, and is repeating her claim that impeachment is a very real possibility.
“Get ready for impeachment,” Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., wrote on Twitter early Tuesday. Waters didn’t add any kind of context as to what may have inspired the declaration, or whether she was referring to President Trump, specifically.
But the impeachment of President Trump is an idea she’s brought up plenty of times before.
Waters was asked over the weekend about a March 16 tweet in which she included a picture of what she called “Trump’s Kremlin Klan.” When pressed on whether her constituents still care “about this Trump-Russia connection,” Waters told MSNBC’s Joy Reid that the presidency could unravel over this issue alone.
“I think in the final analysis they are going to have to move away from [President Trump],” Waters said of right-wing conservatives. “And we will see that [President Trump] will be in a position where he will meet the criteria for high crimes and misdemeanors, and I maintain that’s where impeachment comes in.”
Some have noted that Waters’ latest tweet also comes less than 24 hours after the directors of both the FBI and the National Security Agency confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee that they have seen no evidence to support President Trump’s claim that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower.
In February, Waters suggested that the president was “leading himself to impeachment” over what she called his “unconstitutional” executive order on immigration. At the time, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded by suggesting that it’s comments like that one that make “you realize that [lawmakers] really missed the message that voters sent this November.”
The issue of impeachment even came up during Tuesday’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked Judge Gorsuch whether he believed President Trump could be impeached if he starts “waterboarding people.” The president has suggested that he would leave the issue of waterboarding up to his generals, but that the practice “absolutely” works.
While he said he wouldn’t speculate on the issue, Judge Gorsuch pointed out that “the impeachment power belongs to this body.” He added that “no man is above the law.”
The House has the sole power to impeach an official, and the Senate is the sole court for impeachment trials. An impeachment is a charge, not a conviction.
According to the House of Representatives website, “the founders, fearing the potential for abuse of executive power, considered impeachment so important that they made it part of the Constitution even before they defined the contours of the presidency.”
Impeachment proceedings have been initiated by the House more than 60 times, but less than one-third have led to full impeachments. Outside of the 15 federal judges impeached by the House, just two presidents (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton), a cabinet secretary and a U.S. senator have also been impeached.
A petition for President Trump’s impeachment was launched almost immediately after his inauguration. As of March 21, more than 908,000 people had signed a petition at impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org