House Democrat unveils articles of impeachment against Trump, but misses chance to force vote

Rep. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenThe nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment House rejects Democrat's resolution to impeach Trump Pelosi, Hoyer: Now is not the time to consider impeachment MORE (D-Texas) on Wednesday unveiled articles of impeachment against President Trump in an effort to force a House vote on removing him from office.

Green's articles of impeachment were introduced as “privileged,” meaning that they must be considered on the House floor within two legislative days.

But when the GOP presiding officer moved to begin the process to consider the resolution less than an hour later, Green did not show up. The resolution was therefore not offered and is not getting an imminent vote.

The House GOP majority presumably would have moved to table Green's resolution and prevented an up-or-down vote. But Green had said he would force a procedural vote to challenge the GOP's ruling, which would have served as the first formal referendum in Congress on impeachment.
 
 
Green's articles of impeachment state that Trump "is fueling an alt-right hate machine" that's "causing immediate injury to American society."

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The Texas lawmaker, who represents a district that covers part of Houston, read aloud his articles on the House floor and stressed that Trump should not have to be convicted of a crime in order to be impeached.

In his articles of impeachment, Green cited Trump's equivocating response to the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.; attacks on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality; and since-debunked accusations that former President Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower as examples of how Trump has "undermined the integrity of his office" and "brought disrepute on the presidency."

Another article of impeachment states that Trump engaged in “perfidy” by making the false claim that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election. Trump won the Electoral College and therefore the presidency, but Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE won the popular vote.

The Trump administration has since established a commission to investigate voter fraud.

“I rise today on behalf of the many who have concluded that enough is enough,” Green said.

He acknowledged that many, if not most, of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle are not inclined to support impeachment at this point.

“I do so understanding that I’m not doing it on behalf of Republicans, generally speaking, or Democrats, generally speaking,” Green said.

Green first announced his intentions late last month to force a vote on impeachment, expressing disgust with Trump’s criticism of NFL players’ protests during the national anthem.

At the time, fellow Democrats said they did not want to vote on impeachment at this stage even though they hardly support Trump.

“I don’t want to vote on impeachment. I think it’s too early. We don’t have the evidence; we don’t have the case,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), a senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, told The Hill in late September.

Forcing a vote on impeachment would have put Democrats from all wings of the party in an awkward position. Democrats like Nadler, who represents a district where Clinton won 78 percent of the vote, think holding a vote on impeachment would look like an overreach.
 
Then there are the centrist Democrats running in competitive districts who don’t want to alienate Trump supporters.

Green is the second House Democrat to introduce articles of impeachment.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) unveiled an article of impeachment in July alleging that Trump committed obstruction of justice by ousting FBI Director James Comey amid the bureau's investigation into whether Trump's campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election.

Sherman suggested that he might force a vote on his article of impeachment using the same process as Green. But he faced pressure from House Democratic leaders and other rank-and-file members to refrain from making his colleagues take up impeachment. 
 
Only a handful of Democrats have called for Trump’s impeachment, such as Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). So far, Green remains the only co-sponsor of Sherman’s article of impeachment.
 
This story was updated at 1:49 p.m.