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Green files articles of impeachment against Trump, setting up floor vote

The Hill logo The Hill 7/17/2019 Cristina Marcos
Al Green looking at the camera: Green files articles of impeachment against Trump, setting up floor vote © Stefani Reynolds Green files articles of impeachment against Trump, setting up floor vote

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) filed articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday under a process that will force a House floor vote by the end of this week.

Green introduced his articles of impeachment after the House passed a resolution largely along party lines condemning Trump for suggesting that four progressive freshman congresswomen of color - Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) - should "go back" to their countries.

Green said that the House should go beyond condemning Trump and move to remove him from office.

It will be the third impeachment floor vote forced by Green in the last two years, but the first since Democrats took control of the House.

Green previously forced procedural votes on articles of impeachment against Trump in December 2017 and January 2018. Both efforts drew the support of about 60 House Democrats.

A total of 84 House Democrats currently support launching an impeachment inquiry, as well as Independent Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), according to The Hill's whip list. But Democratic leaders - and the majority of the caucus - are not yet on board as they seek to continue ongoing investigations of the Trump administration.

A floor vote will force all House Democrats to go on the record about an issue on which they have yet to reach consensus.

Green read aloud his articles of impeachment on the House floor, saying Trump is "unfit to defend the ideals that have made America great" and "unfit to ensure domestic tranquillity" and "promote the general welfare."

As he did in his previous articles of impeachment, Green accused Trump of having "sown seeds of discord among the people of the United States" by inflaming racial tensions and "brought the high office of president of the United States in contempt, ridicule, disgrace and disrepute."

Green, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, forced the vote in January 2018 after The Washington Post reported Trump described African nations as "shithole countries."

Some Democrats in favor of impeachment said Tuesday that Green's timing isn't ideal given that former special counsel Robert Mueller will be testifying before Congress next week about his report on whether Trump obstructed justice in the investigation into Russia's election interference. Those Democrats, however, said that they would likely vote in favor of Green's latest effort.

Green gave House Democratic leaders a heads-up that he would be filing the articles of impeachment on Tuesday.

He filed them as a "privileged" resolution, which under House rules must be considered on the floor within two legislative days. That means the House will have to take action by Thursday.

When Green forced votes in 2017 and 2018, House GOP leaders - then in the majority - moved to table his impeachment resolutions. Democratic leaders could choose to allow a direct up-or-down vote on Green's resolution or move to table it.

Earlier Tuesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Democratic leaders hadn't yet decided how to handle Green's resolution on the floor. But he reiterated that they believe impeachment is still premature.

"I think we need to hear from [Mueller] and analyze what he had to say," Hoyer said. "I think there's a lot of information to come, and we'll see - as the Speaker has said - where it leads us."

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