Several demonstrators were arrested on Capitol Hill Wednesday as progressives rallied to demand that Democrats in the House initiate, without delay, impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
The action involved a sit-in at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) office. Grassroots groups CREDO Action and By the People, the organizers, were joined in the morning by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
Tlaib last month signed a pledge calling on lawmakers to "defend us from a president who believes he can get away with anything."
The congresswoman and other demonstrators argued that the president must be held accountable for his alleged obstruction of justice, violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause, and abuses of power, and that Democrats should use their control of the House to ensure that he is.
Watch the event below:
"For me as a member of Congress, it's so important that I make sure that I check this president and even my colleagues when I feel they are not abiding by the U.S. constitution," Tlaib told demonstrators, outlining Trump's alleged violation of the emoluments clause, which bans the president from receiving gifts or payments from foreign and state governments, as one reason to begin impeachment proceedings:
Many of you have heard me say, 'Look, he's a sitting CEO as well as president of the United States'...You see people spending money at his hotels and then the next day lobbbying the federal government.
If we don't hold impeachment proceedings today, start them today and hold him accountable to followingg the U.S. constitution, think about that. This is not going to be the last CEO that runs for President of the United States. This is not going to be the last person that tries to get away with this.
Demonstrators appealed to Pelosi's staff, asking them to deliver their message to her.
Along with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Tlaib is one of the only members of Congress who have signed the By the People pledge circulated late last month, calling on representatives to "defend us from a president who believes he can get away with anything."
"Please do your job," the petition read. "If the president violates the Constitution, Congress is supposed to defend the American people by impeaching and removing the president from office."
"On an almost daily basis, this President attacks our Constitution, our democracy, the rule of law, and the American people," Tlaib wrote on Wednesday, ahead of the rally. "It is my duty to join By the People and CREDO today to hold him accountable and demand impeachment proceedings begin."
On an almost daily basis, this President attacks our Constitution, our democracy, the rule of law and the American people. It is my duty to join @by_the_ppl & @CREDOMobile today to hold him accountable and demand impeachment proceedings begin. Read why:— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) March 6, 2019
This week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) requested documents from more than 80 of the president's associates regarding Trump's alleged obstruction of justice and other abuses of power. Nadler—whose committee has the right to begin impeachment proceedings—has said on multiple occasions over the past six months that he aims to convince the American public that impeachment is warranted.
A poll released Tuesday by Quinnipiac University showed that more than a third of Americans believe that Trump should be impeached.