Sarsour at Impeach Trump Event: ‘Xenophobe, Homophobe, Islamophobe …’

By Patrick Goodenough | May 10, 2019 | 12:04 AM EDT

Rep. Rashida Tlaib speaks on Capitol Hill at Thursday’s event. Behind her are Rep. Al Green and Women’s March co-leader Linda Sarsour. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

( – Two House Democrats who have introduced measures to impeach President Trump joined other activists outside the Capitol on Thursday handing Congress what they say are ten million signatures urging lawmakers to begin impeachment proceedings.

Participants included Women’s March co-leader Linda Sarsour, who launched a scathing attack on the president.

“Donald Trump is a sexist, racist, misogynist, xenophobe, homophobe, Islamophobe, transphobe,” she said.

“He has banned people who look like me and pray like me,” added Sarsour, a hijab-wearing Muslim and Palestinian-American. “He continues to be a shame to us as a people.”

Speaking from a podium bearing the slogan “Trump must go,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said, “I always tell people: ‘This is your House, you tell us what to do.’ And this is us telling this House what to do.”

“We cannot set a precedent – I constantly say this – and allow the rule of law to be eroded, to allow our democracy to be continued to be corrupted by this president,” she said.

Tlaib said the campaign to impeach Trump was not just driven by special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election meddling but also by the policies his administration is pursuing.

Joining Tlaib and Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) were representatives from groups including Need to Impeach – an initiative backed by billionaire activist and Democratic donor Tom Steyer –, Women’s March, and By the People.

Tlaib and Green posed for cameras with a computer thumb drive said to hold the online petition signatures.

On the day she was sworn in last January, Tlaib told supporters, in reference to Trump, “we’re gonna go in and impeach the motherf****r!”

Then in March Tlaib introduced a measure, co-sponsored by Green, calling on the House Judiciary Committee to “inquire whether the House of Representatives should impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America.”

It now has seven co-sponsors, including Tlaib’s fellow freshmen Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).

Green called on attendees at Thursday’s event to applaud Tlaib for having “the courage to stand up to the most powerful man on the planet Earth.”

(Green himself introduced two impeachment resolutions during the previous Congress, in June 2017 and January 2018, both relating to public statements by Trump which the text charged constituted “harm to American society to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”)

‘Nancy Pelosi is choosing to be afraid’

Democratic House leaders remain cautious about impeachment, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) argued this week that Trump was “goading” Democrats to impeach him, because “he just wants to solidify his base.”

But Green said he wanted to counter “this myth that the president wants to be impeached.”

“The president does not want to be impeached,” he said, adding that “all would-be tyrants want to be loved, they want to be revered. They don’t want to be reviled. Impeachment is revilement.”

Green said Trump wants people to believe that he wants to be impeached.

“And in my neighborhood, we call this ‘reverse psychology.’ This is merely his way of causing us to do that which he really wants us to do – and that is, avoid impeachment.”

The House can impeach a president by a simple majority of those present and voting, but removal from office would then require a Senate trial followed by a two-thirds majority vote to convict.

Several participants in the event challenged the notion that since getting that outcome in the Republican-controlled Senate would be a tall order, impeachment should be off the table.

“There are those who say that you should not impeach if the Senate won’t convict,” said Green. “I say, impeachment is the province of the House of Representatives. I say that we have a duty, a responsibility and an obligation under the Constitution of the United States of America to do our duty. We must impeach – let the Senate do what they may, we have to do what we must.”

Sarsour took a more direct dig at Pelosi.

“If we have to go to the Senate and we have to lose there, we can at least say that we did everything that we could, and we were on the right side of history,” she said. “Fear is a choice, and Nancy Pelosi is choosing to be afraid.”

Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow

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