This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more, or subscribe to our free daily newsletter and the California Politics Podcast. Also don't miss our Essential Politics page in Sunday's California section.

Rep. Brad Sherman introduces articles of impeachment against Trump

Los Angeles-area Rep. Brad Sherman has introduced articles of impeachment against President Trump, making good on a promise to move the process forward.

Sherman's move has put him at odds with House Democratic leaders, who have tried to quiet talk of impeachment, hoping instead to focus on the economy, healthcare and the investigation into Russia's interference in the presidential election.

Sherman, an 11-term Democrat who represents part of the San Fernando Valley, was the first to draft and circulate articles of impeachment last month. He formally introduced the measure, HR 438, on the House floor Wednesday afternoon.

The measure accuses Trump of obstruction of justice and seeking to "use his authority to hinder and cause the termination" of an investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn, including "through threatening, and then terminating, James Comey."

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who had previously held a joint news conference with Sherman supporting the effort to impeach Trump, was the only co-sponsor of the measure.

Sherman had previously said no other members had signed on to support his proposal. After House Democratic leaders expressed concern about his effort, Sherman said he assured House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that he wouldn't ask for a floor vote on impeachment without consulting the Democratic caucus.

Asked for comment on the impeachment effort, Pelosi responded with a statement calling again for independent commission to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

The impeachment measure is a long way from a floor vote and is expected to be referred to the House Judiciary Committee. It faces substantial resistance in the GOP-controlled House.

In a statement, Sherman said he and Green will push the Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on the matter. He added that he hopes introducing articles of impeachment would "inspire an 'intervention' in the White House." He called his move "the first step on a very long road," and said he believed that Republicans would join the effort "many, many months from now" if Trump's "incompetence" continues.


12:36 p.m.: This article was updated to include statements by Sherman and additional context.

This article was originally published at 11:24 a.m.

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World