Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 | 2 a.m.
State Sen. Pat Spearman, a North Las Vegas Democratic candidate for Congress, said Democrats will take the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 election and begin proceedings to impeach Donald Trump as president.
“So far there are already several reasons for articles of impeachment, drawn up in Congress, the least of which is not the Emoluments Clause,” Spearman said on Nevada Newsmakers, referring to a little-known rule that prohibits Trump’s businesses from accepting payments from foreign governments.
“Once we take the House,” impeachment should proceed “if there is clear and compelling evidence, and there already is,” she said.
Impeachment proceedings begin in the House, according to federal law, and Democrats would likely need to regain the majority for the impeachment to get rolling.
The Democrats would need to hold the seats they already have in the U.S. House and capture 24 more in the November election to earn a majority, according to various projections. Already, 31 GOP members of the House have said they will not seek re-election.
“There are so many (reasons for impeachment), people have stopped naming them,” Spearman said. “But there is already clear and compelling evidence that says he has, in so many ways, already violated the office.”
Spearman said Trump’s impeachment would be a plank in her platform as a candidate in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, which includes North Las Vegas and a large section of rural Nevada.
“Let me put it like this: If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck — and I understand that I am probably speaking disparagingly about ducks — then, yes,” she said. “If there is clear and compelling evidence, of which there already is, yes (it will be part of my platform).”
Spearman called Congress’ Republican leadership “enablers” of Trump.
“When I get to Washington, I don’t plan on being part of that enablers group,” she said.
Spearman also spoke in support of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who said Trump should be impeached after his recent derogatory comments about people from Haiti, El Salvador and some nations in Africa.
Spearman has also been critical of the man who would become president if Trump’s impeachment were finalized by a trial in the U.S. Senate — Vice President Mike Pence.
Spearman was critical of Pence’s record on LGBTQ rights during a speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, saying Pence “used religion as a weapon to discriminate.”
Spearman said on Nevada Newsmakers that her view on Pence has not changed.
“If Mr. Trump is impeached and Mike Pence becomes president, that doesn’t change anything. Until he changes his stance, I will still be critical,” she said.
Spearman also touched on the well-publicized bullying story out of Yerington, one of the rural cities in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District.
Parents of two stepsisters have filed lawsuits against the city of Yerington and the Lyon County School District after the stepsisters allegedly endured months of racially charged bullying — including death threats — from classmates, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
The Trump administration has set a poor example when it comes to bullying, Spearman said.
“Bullying starts at the top, and the guy who sits in the White House is probably the biggest bully of all,” Spearman said.
She noted Nevada already has zero-tolerance laws for bullying and, “we’ve got to make sure those laws are enforced.”
Bullying is a nationwide problem, she added.
“It is not just Yerington,” she said. “Let me be clear: these are some of the things we face in America, and this whole culture of racism has been perpetuated, in large measure, by the current (Trump) administration.”
A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, Spearman wants more federal funding and attention on military sexual trauma.
“We want to make sure that the people who experienced this have the opportunity, a true opportunity, to get their lives back together,” she said.
She also threw down a strong challenge to those in Congress who call for war to settle the nation’s international issues.
“I will say this for all of those people who are calling for, ‘Let’s go to war’ and they’ve never been. My question would be: are you willing to go first? If you are not willing to go first, then I don’t believe you when you say we’ve got to go to war.”
Spearman also advocates implementing universal health care to solve the nation’s health care crisis, or a Medicare-for-all system.
“I believe it is possible to get affordable Medicare, Medicaid for all,” she said. “If other countries have done it, then we’re smart enough to figure out how to do it as well.”