With the House Democratic leadership reportedly expected to use a procedural vote on Wednesday to sideline Rep. Al Green's articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Green warned his colleagues that waiting any longer to remove the racist and corrupt president from office could have horrifying consequences.
"We cannot wait. As we wait, we risk having the blood of somebody on our hands—and it could be a member of Congress," said Green, who introduced his impeachment resolution shortly after the House voted Tuesday night to condemn Trump's racist attacks against Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass).
"We cannot wait. As we wait, we risk having the blood of somebody on our hands—and it could be a member of Congress."
—Rep. Al Green
As Common Dreams reported Monday, observers warned Trump's Twitter attacks—which said the four congresswomen should "go back" to the countries "from which they came"—amounted to dangerous incitement to violence.
"President Donald Trump's racist comments that have legitimatized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color," Green said Tuesday night on the House floor. "Donald John Trump, by causing such harm to the society of the United States, is unfit to be president and warrants impeachment, trial and removal from office."
The four members of "the Squad" have received death threats since they were elected in 2018. Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for Muslim Advocates, warned in a statement Monday that Trump decision to single out Omar in remarks on the White House lawn was "a dangerous new low that will lead to more death threats... and a surge in bigotry against American Muslims."
In an appearance on the Washington Journal on Wednesday, Green made the case that Trump is guilty of inciting people to violence. "You cannot yell 'fire' in a crowded theater," Green said.
"This country," he continued, "is dealing with the theatrics of the president. His theatrics incite people. You can't incite people to the extent that other people can be harmed." Green noted his own need for personal security at his congressional office in Texas or when he goes out in public as proof that violent threats against him, his staff, and other lawmakers are both real and a serious concern.
"This is not America," he said. "This is not how we expect people to respond to free speech."
Green explained that beyond the official resolution condemning Trump's racist behavior that passed the House on Tuesday, more must be done:
.@RepAlGreen on introducing articles of impeachment:
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"The President was condemned, today we'll have a vote to punish… We have to punish the President & impeachment is the means by which he can be punished… We ought to impeach this President for his bigotry" pic.twitter.com/UTiQjb4Fe7
— Washington Journal (@cspanwj) July 17, 2019
Despite calls for Democrats to recognize the urgency of impeachment, Politico reported that House leaders on Wednesday "are likely to sideline Green's measure with their own procedural vote: moving either to table his articles and delay them or to bottle them up in the Judiciary Committee."
Asked if she supports Green's resolution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) laughed and told reporters, "No I don't. Does that come as a surprise?"
Green, a Democrat from Texas, read his articles of impeachment on the House floor Tuesday night.
"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 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," Green said.
Heidi Hess, co-director of CREDO Action, said in a statement Wednesday that Green's articles of impeachment represent an opportunity for House Democrats to "show they are moral leaders."
"Donald Trump is a racist who has repeatedly abused the powers of the presidency to harm black and brown communities and to make a quick buck for billionaires off the backs of working families," said Hess. "Impeachment proceedings must start immediately in order to protect our country's values and our families' lives."