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Democratic lawmaker announces plans to file impeachment resolution

(CNN) Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib plans to file soon an impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump, the freshmen Democratic lawmaker from Michigan announced at a news conference Wednesday.

"Later on this month, I will be joining folks and advocates across the country to file the impeachment resolution to start the impeachment proceedings," said Tlaib, who has repeatedly called for Trump's impeachment.

While Tlaib's resolution is not expected to gain much traction in the immediate future -- Democratic leadership and key committee chairs have stressed that they're not at the impeachment stage in their investigations -- Tlaib's proposal highlights the extent to which a vocal faction of the House Democratic caucus is intent on pushing the issue immediately.

Tlaib downplayed any differences with House Democratic leaders, saying, "when I speak to leadership they constantly remind me I have to represent my district."

She added, "I think every single colleague of mine agrees there's impeachable offenses. That's one thing that we all agree on. We may disagree on the pace."

Tlaib said during her news conference, "It's really important that the President of the United States is investigated in violations of the United States Constitution," highlighting in particular the emoluments clause, prohibiting gifts or benefits from foreign governments.

"We have to also look into how the President has obstructed justice," Tlaib said, pointing to the President's firing of former FBI director James Comey and saying that he has "basically been able to bully his way to get his way. It's not in the best interests of the American people."

Tlaib's comments follow House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler announcing Monday a sweeping investigation into President Donald Trump's campaign, businesses, transition and administration, a probe that would lay the groundwork for Democrats if they choose to pursue impeachment proceedings. While Nadler said over the weekend "Impeachment's a long way down the road," he also said "it's very clear" to him that Trump committed obstruction of justice.

The White House responded by defending the President against allegations of any wrongdoing and arguing that Democrats are overreaching significantly in their investigation, calling it a "fishing expedition."

"Today, Chairman Nadler opened up a disgraceful and abusive investigation into tired, false allegations already investigated by the Special Counsel and committees in both Chambers of Congress," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Monday. "Chairman Nadler and his fellow Democrats have embarked on this fishing expedition because they are terrified that their two-year false narrative of 'Russia collusion' is crumbling. Their intimidation and abuse of American citizens is shameful."

This isn't the first time Tlaib has pressed for impeachment.

The freshman Democrat ignited controversy just hours after her swearing in when she defiantly told the audience at a progressive event, "we're going to impeach the motherf****r."

The comments provoked an uproar and sparked criticism from some fellow Democrats, but Tlaib didn't back down.

House Democratic leaders, however, have taken a far more cautious approach to the issue, saying that it's too soon to discuss the possibility and pointing to the fact that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has not yet concluded.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi steered clear of impeachment talk just last week when pressed by reporters about whether it would be an impeachable offense if the President violated campaign finance laws in office.

"I'm not going into that, I'm not going into that," Pelosi said following bombshell public testimony from the President's former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen. The House Democratic leader cautioned that "impeachment is a divisive issue in our country."

Pelosi emphasized instead that she wants to focus on oversight of the President's policy and actions for the time being.

"I'm more concerned about his policy than his personality, however when the facts are known then we can make the judgement," she said.

This story has been updated with additional developments Wednesday.

CNN's Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.
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