As new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ushered in the newest members of the 116th Congress, two Muslim women – Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) – made history as the first to ever be elected to Congress.
Tlaib, who caused a huge stir among Christian conservatives for being sworn in with the Koran, took a strong stand on her first day of Congress by writing an op-ed in The Detroit Free Press. Tlaib wrote:
‘President Donald Trump is a direct and serious threat to our country. On an almost daily basis, he attacks our Constitution, our democracy, the rule of law and the people who are in this country. His conduct has created a constitutional crisis that we must confront now.’
Rep. Tlaib went on to explain that the framers of the Constitution designed a process to address the crisis Mr. Trump has created, which is known as impeachment. She explained:
‘Through the impeachment clause, they sought to ensure that we would have the power, through our elected representatives in Congress, to protect the country by removing a lawless president from the Oval Office.’
Rep. Tlaib cited evidence of which is grounds for impeachment: obstructing justice, violating the emoluments clause, abusing the pardon power, advocating illegal violence and undermining equal protection of the laws, ordering the cruel and unconstitutional imprisonment of children and their families at the southern border, conspiring to illegally influence the 2016 election through a series of hush money payments, and directing or seeking to direct law enforcement to prosecute political adversaries for improper purposes.
The congresswoman notes that whether Mr. Trump was directly involved in conspiring with the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 election remains the focus of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. Tlaib stated:
‘But we do not need to wait on the outcome of that criminal investigation before moving forward now with an inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives on whether the president has committed impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors” against the state: abuse of power and abuse of the public trust.’
Tlaib especially mentions that countless people have been hurt by the president’s lawless actions, and that with every passing day, there comes more damage. More significantly, she said:
‘We cannot undo the trauma that he is causing to our people, and this nation.’
Then, Rep. Tlaib made her most profound statement, calling for Trump’s impeachment, saying:
‘Those most vulnerable to his administration’s cruelty are counting on us to act — act to remove the president and put this country on a path to true justice.’
Next, Congresswoman Tlaib boldly reminded Congress and the country that it is not Mueller’s role to determine whether Trump committed impeachable offenses – The responsibility to make that determination rests with the U.S. Congress. Tlaib wrote:
‘Those who say we must wait for Special Counsel Mueller to complete his criminal investigation before Congress can start any impeachment proceedings ignore this crucial distinction. There is no requirement whatsoever that a president be charged with or be convicted of a crime before Congress can impeach him. They also ignore the fact that many of the impeachable offenses committed by this president are beyond the scope of the special counsel’s investigation.’
Rep. Rashida Tlaib started day one off on a grand note and she will likely be a valuable member to the 116th Congress and to our country.
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube