Rep. Al Green’s move could put Democrats in a bind.
I love my country,” Rep. Al Green wrote Tuesday. “For this reason, I will bring articles of impeachment to a vote in the House of Representatives.” | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) says he intends to force a vote Wednesday to impeachPresident Donald Trump, a move that Democratic leaders have long sought to fend off despite increasing agitation from a small faction of liberal members.
“I love my country,” Green wrote in a letter to colleagues on Tuesday. “For this reason, I will bring articles of impeachment to a vote in the House of Representatives.”
Under House procedures, lawmakers may offer “privileged” motions on impeachment, which means an individual member can force consideration of the subject. GOP leaders who control the House intend to vote to table it, an aide said. That would force Democrats, for the first time, to go on the record on a measure that would call for Trump’s removal from office — and face awkward politics when many likely join Republicans to bury the measure without immediate consideration.
Only a handful of Democrats have called for Trump’s impeachment and removal, while Democratic leaders have called such discussions premature. Green nearly forced an impeachment vote in October but pulled back amid pressure from Democratic leadership. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has said she’s opposed to pursuing impeachment and has complained about Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer’s ad calling for Trump’s impeachment.
In his impeachment resolution, Green argues that Trump’s conduct in office — while not criminal — amounts to a “high misdemeanor” that warrants removal from office. He also hits Trump’s handling of the white supremacists rallying in Charlottesville and his decision to share anti-Muslim videos from a fringe right-wing British group, saying they have linked his presidency with “white nationalism, Neo-Nazism and hate.”
Green also says Trump’s ban on travel from certain Muslim-majority countries, his attempt to ban transgender people from joining the military, his response to the hurricane in Puerto Rico and his Twitter attacks on Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) amount to “inciting hatred and hostility.”
“The framers of the Constitution wanted a means to remove a president who had not committed a crime, but was causing harm to society,” he said in his letter. “In fact, impeachment, as prophetically defined by the framers of the Constitution, was designed for a time such as this and a president such as Trump.”