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Democratic Rep: Impeach Trump Over Charlottesville

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A Democratic member of the House of Representatives has issued a statement declaring that President Donald Trump's response to the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, is grounds for impeachment.

Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee stated on Aug. 17 that he is introducing articles of impeachment against the president.

"I have expressed great concern about President Trump's ability to lead our country in the Resolution of No Confidence … that I introduced in July with 29 of my colleagues; however, after the President's comments on [Aug. 12] and again on [Aug. 15] in response to the horrific events in Charlottesville, I believe that the President should be impeached and removed from office," Cohen wrote on his personal website.

"Instead of unequivocally condemning hateful actions by neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Klansmen following a national tragedy, the President said 'there were very fine people on both sides.' There are no good Nazis. There are no good Klansmen."

In his initial Aug. 12 remarks on Charlottesville, Trump denounced "hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides." After receiving significant backlash from both Republicans and Democrats, Trump made another statement on Aug. 14 in which he explicitly spoke against racism, calling it "evil."

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Then, on Aug. 15, Trump held a brief news conference during which he returned to his Aug. 12 response by saying that "there is blame on both sides," according to Politico.

"What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?" he said. "You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent. You can say what you want, but that's the way it is."

In his statement calling for Trump's impeachment, Cohen drew a parallel between the rally in Charlottesville and Nazi Germany.

"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," Cohen wrote. "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."

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Cohen concluded by asserting that Trump had "failed the test of moral leadership."

"No moral president would ever shy away from outright condemning hate, intolerance and bigotry. No moral president would ever question the values of Americans protesting in opposition of such actions, one of whom was murdered by one of the white nationalists … Neo-Nazis and the KKK are domestic terrorists. If the President can’t recognize the difference between these domestic terrorists and the people who oppose their anti-American attitudes, then he cannot defend us."

Cohen is not the first Democratic lawmaker to call for Trump's impeachment. In June, Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, introduced the first article of impeachment against the president, arguing that Trump had obstructed justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey.

"I believe that Trump's use of threats to obstruct the ongoing criminal investigations of Michael Flynn clearly violate [Title 18 of the United States Code]; Violations of that section are a felony," Sherman wrote, according to HuffPost. "Trump's efforts to obstruct the investigation of his campaign's possible collusion with Russia violated the same statute."

A number of other Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Rep. Maxine Waters of California and Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, have also expressed support for impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Sources: Congressman Steve Cohen, Politico, HuffPost / Featured Image: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Congressman Steve Cohen/Wikimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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