The House is expected to vote today on a resolution to begin an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, with the president’s ‘racist’ attack on a quartet of Democratic legislators adding a new factor.
It would be the first vote of the new Congress on the issue since Democrats swept into power in November, following a months-long tactical debate about how to proceed and a call for caution by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The legislative action – with the precise details still to be determined – follows the decision of Texas Democratic Rep. Al Green to read into the record articles of impeachment against the president following the still boiling controversy over his attack on four Democratic congresswomen, whom he said should ‘go back’ to their countries. Three were born in the U.S.
Green called Trump ‘unfit’ to be president and said his conduct ‘warrants impeachment, trial and removal from office.’
The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a resolution that would begin an impeachment inquiry into President Trump
Green read his impeachment articles into the record after the House voted on mostly party lines to condemn Trump’s comments.
‘Yesterday there was a vote of condemnation. The president was condemned. Today, we’ll have a vote to punish,’ Green said on C-SPAN Wednesday.
Democratic leaders have yet to forecast how they will respond. The House could vote to table, or kill the resolution. Or it could vote to send it to the Judiciary Committee. Or it could allow a straight-up vote on Green’s resolution – leaving open the possibility it could pass.
Each method would highlight a party split in different ways. A tabling motion would have pro-impeachment members voting against a leadership effort to squelch the move.
Sending it to committee could appear to be an effort to bury the proposal – although it also would provide leadership more time to take the temperature of the caucus or bring the issue back later.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has cautioned members that now is not the time to begin impeaching the president, and the measure is not expected to succeed – although dozens of Democrats have come out in support of beginning an impeachment inquiry.
Asked in the Capitol Wednesday if she supports Green’s resolution, Pelosi responded Wednesday: ‘No I don’t. Does that come as a surprise?’
Green said Tuesday on the House floor: ‘President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimatized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.’
Green introduced the measure shortly after the House voted to condemn Trump for tweets that four Democratic congresswomen should ‘go back’ to their home countries
Texas Republican Al Green, (left), has introduced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, (right), potentially forcing a vote this week on whether to remove him
He continued: ‘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.’
A House leadership aide confirmed the chamber was likely to address the issue during a series of votes planned for late afternoon Monday.
Green’s resolution failed during the last Congress.
Tuesday’s vote to condemn Trump was 240-187 and was solidly opposed by Republicans. It came after Trump and top congressional Republicans denied he is a racist and urged GOP lawmakers to oppose the Democratic measure.
The new impeachment vote follows Trump’s clash with ‘the squad,’ who include: Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.
Green said Tuesday that Trump is unfit for office and ‘enough is enough.’
Another faction is urging colleagues to ignore Trump’s Tweets.
‘We can’t continue to react to this. He’s going to insult some others,’ said Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri. ‘My suggestion to the House and the Senate and the people of the country is to forget the man’s tweets. He’s playing us like a Stradivarius.’
During Tuesday’s vote to condemn Trump, Pelosi said: ‘These comments from the White House are disgraceful and disgusting and these comments are racist.’
Trump on Sunday tweeted it was ‘so interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe’ telling the U.S. how it should be run.
He did not specifically mention Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley or Rashida Tlaib by their names, but he later followed up with tweets about ‘the squad.’
‘Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,’ Trump wrote. ‘Then come back and show us how it is done.’
Green said on the floor: ‘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 [he] 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 read from his resolution on the House floor on Tuesday night.