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Rep. Al Green introduces new resolution to impeach Trump
After debating the matter for months, Democrats are finally prepared to move forward with articles of impeachment targeting President Donald Trump.
Texas Rep. Al Green (D) introduced a resolution to impeach the president on Tuesday, forcing House Democrats to consider whether to begin proceedings to remove Trump from office, The Washington Post reports. But party leaders were unwilling to follow through with the measure and risk alienating supporters, and ended up voting 332–95 to kill it.
Third time’s the charm
Green has already tried twice to impeach the president. In December 2017, the maverick Democrat accused him of “high misdemeanors” for maintaining unproven ties with “White Nationalism, Neo-Nazism and Hate.” The motion was easily defeated by a Republican-majority House, which voted 364–58 to defeat the measure.
Green seized upon the same criticism this time around, responding to a tweet from the president where Trump demanded that four minority congresswomen “go back” to their ancestral countries. House Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) have strongly condemned the statement, calling Trump’s words “not only divisive, but dangerous,” according to Fox News.
“There’s no excuse for any response to those words but a swift and strong unified condemnation,” the speaker continued. “Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets.”
The House voted 240–187 along mostly partisan lines to publicly rebuke Trump. House Resolution 489, titled, “Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress,” declared that “President Donald Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”
While most Democrats were content with simply rebuking the president, Green jumped on the opportunity to force a third impeachment vote, The Guardian reports. The Texas congressman read from his resolution Tuesday evening from the House floor:
Donald John Trump has, by his statements, brought the high office of the President of the United States in contempt, ridicule, disgrace, and disrepute, has sown seeds of discord among the people of the United States, has demonstrated that he is unfit to be President, and has betrayed his trust as President of the United States to the manifest injury of the people of the United States, and has committed a high misdemeanor in office.
Under current House rules, Democrats had the opportunity to table the impeachment articles, refer them to the Judiciary Committee for consideration, or bring the matter to the floor for a full vote. While the Democratic members of the lower chamber voted 3 to 2 to oppose the measure, Republicans were unified in their opposition.
Many Democrats were convinced that the move is a premature one that could endanger the political fortunes of progressive lawmakers up for re-election in crucial swing states. For her part, Pelosi reminded critics that Democrats are currently pursuing dozens of separate inquiries in six different committees aimed at building a legal case against Trump, asserting: “That is the serious path we’re on.”
The path of least resistance
Other Democrats, like Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA), urged caution from her progressive colleagues, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s not ideal for a lot of people to have to take that vote right now,” she said, adding that she would only vote on impeaching Trump if “we can make sure our constituents understand and can get behind” the move.
Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA) voted to impeach Trump, but wondered aloud if the vote was “the most strategic thing right now without a game plan.”
This may not be the last time that members of Congress will vote on impeaching Trump. Next week, former special counsel Robert Mueller will testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
The high-profile hearing is expected to reignite the controversy over the two year Russia investigation, which failed to find evidence of collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, but also failed to make a prosecutorial judgment regarding obstruction of justice charges.
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