WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMC) - Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen announced that he plans to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump as soon as he returns to Congress.
The impeachment effort is in response to Trump's comments about the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"Part of his oath of office is to take care that the laws are executed appropriately, carried out, if he can't even identify domestic terrorists and equates them with American protesters of anti-American values, he is not capable of leading us," Cohen said. "There's nothing more important than democracy, and democracy is at risk with this man as President. He doesn't understand America, he doesn't understand his job as President. He's morally, ethically and intellectually incapable of being president of the United State of America."
Cohen said Trump should be impeached for not unequivocally condemning actions by neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and Klansmen after a national tragedy.
"Instead of unequivocally condemning hateful actions by neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Klansmen following a national tragedy, the President said 'there were very fine people on both sides.' There are no good Nazis. There are no good Klansmen," Cohen said. "With the President's abject failure of leadership...I had no choice but to introduce these articles of impeachment."
Cohen goes on to compare the events to the Holocaust, citing that white nationalists in Charlottesville chanted the Nazi slogan, "blood and soil," as well as, "Jews will not replace us."
"None of the marchers spewing such verbiage could be considered 'very fine people' as the President suggested," Cohen said.
When asked if these things are impeachable offenses for a President, Cohen said the founding documents of our country are not specific on what are impeachable offenses. He said if half of the Congress votes to impeach and 66 percent of the Senate votes to convict, the President could be impeached for jaywalking.
Despite his vigor, Cohen admits it's currently an uphill battle to get the votes required to impeach Trump.
However, Cohen said he believes the tide is turning against Trump and those who defend his actions. He said he expects Democrats to win some Congressional seats in the next election.
"If we [Democrats] get a majority, impeachment will be a front line issue in 2019. If we don't get a majority, but make major gains, the Republicans will see the writing on the wall for 2020 and they will initiate impeachment to get Trump out, put Pence in, and hopefully save their rear ends," Cohen said.
One Tennessee Republican condemned Trump on Thursday by saying he had not shown that he "understands what has made this nation great."
As for the Confederate monuments in Memphis, Cohen supports removing the monuments. He said Mayor Jim Strickland and City Council both approved removing the monuments. However, the law gives the final say of moving Memphis' Confederate monuments to a board. Cohen said since Governor Bill Haslam appoints the members of that board, he is to blame for the monuments still being up.
Cohen said Haslam should go to the board and get them to vote in favor of removing the monuments.
Cohen's full statement on the release of articles of impeachment is below: