October 11, 2017 215 Views
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) refrained from forcing a vote Wednesday on articles of impeachment against President Trump, but said his push isn’t over yet.
Green unveiled articles of impeachment on the House floor that argued Trump has “brought disrepute on the presidency” by “fueling an alt-right hate machine” that is “causing immediate injury to American society.”
Green announced his intention on the House floor to offer the impeachment articles as a privileged resolution, which under House rules allows any member to force a vote within two legislative days.
The GOP presiding officer moved to consider Green’s resolution less than an hour later. But Green did not show up, allowing the window for consideration to pass for now.
House Republicans presumably would have moved to table Green’s articles of impeachment and prevented an up-or-down vote on them. But Green still could have forced a procedural vote to challenge the GOP’s ruling that would have served as the first vote in Congress related to impeaching Trump.
Green said he didn’t immediately force a vote because he wants his colleagues and the public to review the articles of impeachment first.
“I want my colleagues to have a chance to review it and I want the American people to get some sense of what’s going on,” Green told reporters just off the House floor.
Democratic leadership was not informed in advance that Green was going to unveil the articles of impeachment on Wednesday, an aide said. Green first announced his plans in late September to file articles of impeachment and force a vote, but had not indicated the precise timing.
Green wouldn’t specify when he might try to force a vote at a later time.
“I will not indicate when, but I will indicate that it will be brought up,” Green said.
House Democratic leaders and most of the rank-and-file have made clear they’re not interested in voting to impeach Trump at this point, even though they’re hardly fans of his.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said it’s premature to consider impeachment and that Democrats should wait for the investigations of whether Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government to conclude.
Green is the second House Democrat to unveil articles of impeachment. In July, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) introduced an article of impeachment alleging that Trump committed obstruction of justice by firing James Comey as FBI director amid the agency’s investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election.
Green remains the only co-sponsor of Sherman’s article of impeachment.
Sherman had suggested over the summer that he might try to force a vote on impeachment using the same process as Green. But he faced pushback from Democratic leaders and other rank-and-file members at the time who warned it could backfire.
A vote on impeachment would be more awkward for Democrats than Republicans.
Most rank-and-file Democrats, even the fiercest Trump critics, think impeachment would look like an overreach at this stage.
Centrist Democrats, particularly those in districts Trump won, would also have to worry about potentially alienating Trump supporters with an impeachment vote.
Yet voting against moving to impeach Trump could be hard for Democrats to explain to an energized base agitating for confrontation against the president.
Impeachment proceedings would normally begin in the House Judiciary Committee, which would hold hearings and vote on articles to send to the full House for consideration.
Source: The Hill (CRISTINA MARCOS)
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