Top US Democrat rebuffs calls to impeach Trump

2017-05-16 22:50
(Ross D Franklin, AP)

(Ross D Franklin, AP)

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Washington - Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi has pushed back against isolated calls from within her party to impeach US President Donald Trump following allegations he disclosed top secret information to top Russian officials.

The minority leader in the House of Representatives was responding to calls by at least two congressional Democrats for Trump to be impeached in the wake of Monday's explosive Washington Post report.

"I don't subscribe to that," said Pelosi. "What are the facts that you would make a case on? What are the rules that he may have violated?

"If you don't have that case, you're just participating in more hearsay."


House Democrats Al Green and Maxine Waters have urged Congress to impeach Trump in the wake of the latest bombshell allegations, coming on the heels of the shock firing of FBI director James Comey last week.

The lawmakers say Trump's dismissal of Comey - who was overseeing probes into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia to skew the 2016 election - amounts to an attempt to hinder the counterintelligence investigations.

A number of media personalities urged the president to resign following the claim that he divulged highly classified information about the Islamic State group to the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and its ambassador to Moscow Sergey Kislyak.

"The president should resign," wrote David Frum, a conservative editorial writer for the Atlantic, a call echoed by influential TV satirist Stephen Colbert who urged the US leader: "Donald Trump, if you're watching, first of all: You're a bad president. Please resign."

Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe argued even before the latest explosive reports that sufficient evidence had accrued since Trump took office in January to merit launching an impeachment investigation.

Treason, bribery

"The country is faced with a president whose conduct strongly suggests that he poses a danger to our system of government," he wrote in the Washington Post at the weekend.

The US impeachment process - a Constitutional method for removing the president or other federal officials from office on the grounds of "treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanours" - involves several stages.

If a majority of the House votes in favour of impeachment, the Senate will then hold a trial.

To convict and oust the president the Senate must achieve the high threshold of a two-thirds vote.

No influential lawmaker has thus far spoken out in support of impeaching Trump. 

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us

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