Nadler urges GOP to join Dems in censuring Trump
A Brooklyn congressman is leading the bold step to defy a sitting president in an official censure vote in the House of Representatives. If successful, it will be the first time since 1848 that the House has taken such an action.
In an extraordinary rebuke to a president, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst-Upper West Side) and two of his Democratic colleagues are making plans to introduce a resolution of censure against President Donald Trump over his comments following the violence in Charlottesville.
A presidential censure is a rarely used act of Congress. It serves as an official reprimand of a commander-in-chief over actions the president has taken.
In 1834, the Senate voted to censure President Andrew Jackson, charging him with withholding documents relating to a move to re-charter the Bank of the U.S. President James Polk was subjected to a censure vote in the House in 1848 over the Mexican-American War.
Nadler, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey) and U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) said they will present the resolution at 10 a.m. Friday, when the House conducts a pro forma session.
The House is currently in recess, with members back in their home districts or on vacation. But the legislative chamber often conducts pro forma sessions with a small handful of members present.
Nadler, the senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, said the motion to censure the president was in reaction to Trump’s controversial remarks on Tuesday in which he claimed that both sides were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville.
Nadler, Coleman and Jayapal are urging not just Democrats, but their Republican colleagues to endorse the resolution.
“Congress must send a clear message,” Nadler wrote on Twitter, along with the hashtag #CensureTrump.
The measure would first have to win the approval of the House Judiciary Committee before it could be presented to the full House for a vote.
Here is the entire resolution:
Whereas on Aug. 11, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, a gathering of white supremacists, including neo-Nazis, Klu Klux Klan (KKK) members, and other alt-Right, white nationalist groups, marched through the streets with torches as part of a coordinated ‘Unite the Right’ rally spewing racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry and hatred;
Whereas on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, a car driven by James Alex Fields, Jr. rammed into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 20 others;
Whereas President Donald Trump’s immediate public comments rebuked “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and failed to specifically condemn the “Unite the Right” rally or cite the white supremacist, neo-Nazi gathering as responsible for actions of domestic terrorism;
Whereas on Aug. 15, 2017 President Donald Trump held a press conference at Trump Tower where he reasserted that “both sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and attempted to create a moral equivalency between white supremacist, KKK, neo-Nazi groups and those counter-protesting the “Unite the Right” rally;
Whereas President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with, and cultivated the influence of, senior advisers and spokespeople who have long histories of promoting white nationalist, alt-Right, racist and anti-Semitic principles and policies within the country;
Whereas President Donald Trump has provided tacit encouragement and little to no denunciation of white supremacist groups and individuals who promote their bigoted, nationalist ideology and policies;
Whereas President Donald Trump has failed to provide adequate condemnation and assure the American people of his resolve to opposing domestic terrorism: Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the House of Representatives —
(1) does hereby censure and condemn President Donald Trump for his inadequate response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 12, 2017, his failure to immediately and specifically name and condemn the white supremacist groups responsible for actions of domestic terrorism, for reasserting that “both sides” were to blame and excusing the violent behavior of participants in the “Unite the Right” rally, and for employing people with ties to white supremacist movements in the White House, such as Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka; and
(2) does hereby urge President Donald Trump to fire any and all White House advisers who have urged him to cater to the alt-right movement in the United States.
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