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Rep. Rashida Tlaib gives Congress 10 million signatures calling for Trump's impeachment

Petitions to impeach sitting presidents are, of course, not legally binding

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) has brought multiple petitions containing 10 million signatures calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment.

Here's what we know

In January, Tlaib punctuated a speech she was giving critical of Trump by saying "we're gonna impeach the motherf***er."

Tlaib was joined on Thursday by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), as well as representatives from various liberal groups including MoveOn, the Women's March, and megadonor Tom Steyer's Need to Impeach.

"This is incredible because this is how movements start," Tlaib said during her Thursday event. "We cannot set a precedent and allow the rule of law to be eroded, allow our democracy to continue to be corrupted by this president."

Tlaib introduced a resolution in March to impeach Trump, which has been co-sponsored by Green and five other Democratic members of the House: Filemon Vela (Texas), Jared Huffman (Calif.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.).

What does this mean?

While 10 million is certainly a lot of signatures, unless a simple majority of the 435 members in the House of Representatives agrees to adopt articles of impeachment not even signatures from all 327 million people living in the United States would be legally binding.

And while Tlaib, Green, and some of their colleagues have supported impeachment, Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has shied away from committing her own support. Even though Pelosi accused Trump on Tuesday of "goading us to impeach him," she also acknowledged that "we can't impeach him for political reasons."

Only two presidents have ever been impeached by the House (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton). However several others, beginning with President John Tyler, have been threatened with impeachment only to have nothing come of those threats. Both Johnson and Clinton managed to survive the next round of impeachment proceedings, when their political opponents failed to get the two-thirds majority in the Senate needed to remove them from office.

One last thing…
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