Rep. Al Green to Force Trump Impeachment Floor Vote Over 'Bigotry, Hatred, and Hostility'
"For too long, we have allowed our civility to prevent us from confronting the invidious incivility of President Donald J. Trump."
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) said he would force a vote in the House on impeaching President Donald Trump on Wednesday, citing the "bigotry, hatred, and hostility" that Trump has demonstrated since taking office.
"I love my country," wrote Green on Tuesday in a letter (pdf) to his colleagues in the House. "For this reason, I will bring articles of impeachment to a vote...For too long, we have allowed our civility to prevent us from confronting the invidious incivility of President Donald J. Trump. In doing this, hatred disguised as political correctness has festered in our body politic and polluted our discourse to our detriment."
Green first introduced articles of impeachment in October, but faced pressure from Democratic leaders to refrain from bringing them to the House floor. He said at the time that he would hold a vote on removing Trump from the White House by Christmas. Last month, Green was joined by five other Democrats when he again brought up articles of impeachment, citing the president's constitutional breaches including obstruction of justice and undermining of the press.
Impeachment has also been promoted by billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer, who spent $20 million on an ad campaign and said last month "it's very important and urgent that we get him out of office."
Some Democrats in the House have argued that the party should allow investigations into the Trump administration by congressional committees and Special Counsel Robert Mueller to proceed before impeachment of the president is attempted.
But others, including Green, have expressed a desire to force members to go on record regarding Trump's potential removal from office. As Green argued in his letter, Trump doesn't need to be found guilty of a crime prior to impeachment proceedings.
"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 wrote, adding that President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House for "the high misdeed or misdemeanor of speaking ill of Congress."
While the president has been accused of violating the Constitution's Emoluments Clause by profiting from his business empire while in office; obstructing justice by allegedly demanding "loyalty" from former FBI Director James Comey, asking him to drop his investigation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and firing Comey during the inquiry; and colluding with Russian officials during the 2016 election, Green focused his letter on the president's "breach of trust" as he's "sown discord within American society to the manifest injury of the American people."
"Although he may not be the first bigot in the White House," wrote Green, "he is the first who routinely uses Twitter and other public statement to feed an alt-right hate machine, antithetical to the constitutionally protected rights of many minorities, women, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community."
Even without the crimes the president has been accused of committing, he said, impeachment "was designed for a time such as this and a president such as Trump.”