- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - A California Democrat filed an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump Wednesday in a longshot bid to remove the president from office.

Rep. Brad Sherman accuses Trump of obstructing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, in part by firing former FBI Director James Comey.

Sherman acknowledges that filing the article is “the first step on a very long road.”

“But if the impulsive incompetency continues, then eventually - many, many months from now - Republicans will join the impeachment effort,” Sherman said in a statement.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sherman’s resolution was “utterly and completely ridiculous” and “a political game at its worst.”

Sherman’s effort has little chance of success in the Republican-led House. Sherman doesn’t even have the backing of many fellow Democrats.

Democratic leaders have distanced themselves from the efforts to impeach Trump, believing it serves only to energize the president’s supporters. Sherman’s resolution has one co-sponsor, fellow Democrat Al Green of Texas.

Sherman filed the article a day after the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., acknowledged that he met with a Russian lawyer during the campaign. An intermediary for the lawyer promised damaging information from the Russian government about Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump Jr. said he received no information about Clinton at the meeting.

The president has questioned his own intelligence agencies and whether the Russians actually interfered in the election. However, federal authorities say they have definitive evidence that the Kremlin meddled in the U.S. presidential election.

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Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

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Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter at https://twitter.com/stephenatap

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