House rejects Democrat's resolution to impeach Trump

The House on Wednesday rejected an effort to impeach President Trump in a vote that nonetheless pointed to growing support on the left for driving the president out of office.

In a 364-58 vote, lawmakers tabled an impeachment resolution from Rep. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenThis week: Time running out for Congress to avoid shutdown Lewandowski: ‘We’ve got a real problem’ if Dems retake the House House Dems plan measure to censure Trump over 's---hole countries' remarks MORE (D-Texas). Every Republican voted with a majority of Democrats to turn away the resolution, while four Democrats voted "present." 

Yet despite the objections of their leadership, 58 Democrats voted in support of the resolution — an unexpectedly high tally, representing nearly one-third of the caucus. The group included lawmakers who haven’t necessarily been vocal about supporting impeachment. 

Green’s articles of impeachment did not allege Trump has specifically committed a crime. Instead, Green argued that Trump has “brought disrepute, contempt, ridicule and disgrace on the presidency” and “sown discord among the people of the United States.” 

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To back up Green’s assertion, the articles of impeachment cited Trump’s equivocating response to the violent clash between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va.; retweets of anti-Muslim videos posted by a fringe British nationalist group; criticisms of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality; disparate treatment of hurricane victims in Puerto Rico compared to Texas and Florida; and personal attacks against Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonFifth Dem announces plan to boycott Trump's State of the Union Dem lawmaker to boycott Trump's SOTU after 's---hole' comment House Dem pledges impeachment vote after Trump's 'sh--hole countries' remark MORE (D-Fla.), who, like Green, is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

House Democratic leaders made clear they don’t support impeachment at this point, citing the ongoing special counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign was involved with the Russian government’s effort to influence the 2016 presidential election. 

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDemocrats search for 51st net neutrality vote Hoyer suggests Dems won't support spending bill without DACA fix Trump’s first year in office was the year of the woman MORE (D-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Hoyer suggests Dems won't support spending bill without DACA fix MORE (D-Md.) voted to table Green's resolution. In a statement, they said there are "legitimate questions" about Trump's fitness for office, but that the ongoing investigations into Trump by congressional committees and the FBI need to play out.

"Right now, Congressional committees continue to be deeply engaged in investigations into the President’s actions both before and after his inauguration. The special counsel’s investigation is moving forward as well, and those inquiries should be allowed to continue."

"Now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment," they wrote.

Still, Democratic leaders did not whip rank-and-file members to vote a certain way on Green’s measure, aides said.

The four Democrats who voted "present" on tabling the resolution were Reps. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroGold Star father attacked by Trump steps up role in Dem primaries Trump’s border wall becomes flashpoint in shutdown fight Texas rep: Most Dems will vote against DACA fix that includes wall funding MORE (Texas), Marc VeaseyMarc Allison VeaseyOvernight Tech: States sue FCC over net neutrality repeal | Senate Dems reach 50 votes on measure to override repeal | Dems press Apple on phone slowdowns, kids' health | New Android malware found Dem lawmakers push Apple on public health risks, iPhone slowdowns House Dem pledges another vote to impeach Trump MORE (Texas), Carol Shea-PorterCarol Shea-PorterHouse Democrat in Trump district endorses impeachment House Dem pledges another vote to impeach Trump The nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment MORE (N.H.) and Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellAfter rough year, Facebook does damage control in DC Facebook allows users to view past interaction with Kremlin-linked content Five takeaways from the Alabama Senate upset MORE (Ala.). Trump won Shea-Porter's district in last year's election.

Green acknowledged that his effort to force an impeachment vote was facing opposition from fellow Democrats. But after pushing for Trump’s impeachment for months, he said he believes Congress needs to discuss the president’s fitness for office.

“May everyone vote their conscience knowing that history will judge us all,” Green wrote in a letter to fellow lawmakers on Tuesday.

Democrats voting in support of Green's resolution included lawmakers who haven't called for impeachment or who aren’t considered particularly left-wing.  

As recently as this summer, Rep. Michael CapuanoMichael (Mike) Everett CapuanoHouse Dems introduce train safety bill after deadly Amtrak crash The nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment House rejects Democrat's resolution to impeach Trump MORE (D-Mass.), a leadership ally, warned against forcing lawmakers to go on the record about impeachment. At the time, Rep. Brad ShermanBradley (Brad) James ShermanHouse Dem pledges impeachment vote after Trump's 'sh--hole countries' remark Trump earns praise for support of Iranian protesters Former aide: ‘No reason to believe’ Dem rep would’ve acted on harassment complaints MORE (D-Calif.) had said he might force a vote on his article of impeachment, but never went through with it. 

But on Wednesday, Capuano voted against tabling Green's impeachment measure.

"Practically and politically, I think most of us can agree that passing articles of impeachment in this House isn’t realistic at this moment in our history. But sometimes, it’s more important to follow your heart than do the practical or political calculation," Capuano wrote in a Facebook post explaining his vote. 

Only one member of the House Democratic leadership hierarchy, Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (S.C.), voted in favor of Green's resolution. Many fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including its chairman, Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondHouse Dem: Trump censure resolution meant to put Congress on record opposing racism This week: Time running out for Congress to avoid shutdown Five hurdles to a big DACA and border deal MORE (D-La.), joined him. 

Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonFormer Sanders campaign manager: Don't expect email list to be shared with DNC Perez: ‘We had to rebuild almost every facet’ of DNC Pelosi insists on 'clean' DREAM Act amid Trump furor MORE (D-Minn.), deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, also sided with Green. 

Green first unveiled a draft of his articles of impeachment in October, but refrained from triggering a vote at the time to allow the public to review them.

Under House rules, any member can offer a “privileged” resolution on the floor that must receive legislative action within two days. Green used that process to ensure a vote on impeachment. 

Other Democrats have also pushed for Trump’s impeachment this year, but unlike Green have not forced a vote on the issue.

Sherman introduced an article of impeachment in July alleging that Trump obstructed justice by firing James Comey as FBI director amid the investigation into Russia's election meddling.

And last month, a group of six Democrats unveiled articles of impeachment accusing Trump of obstructing justice by ousting Comey, violating the foreign emoluments clause barring public officials from receiving gifts from foreign governments without the consent of Congress and undermining the courts and the media.

That group of Democrats consisted of Green and Reps. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenLewandowski: ‘We’ve got a real problem’ if Dems retake the House Democrats planning protests for Trump’s first State of the Union Poll: Majority don't want Dems to impeach Trump if they retake House MORE (Tenn.), Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.), Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeOvernight Tech: States sue FCC over net neutrality repeal | Senate Dems reach 50 votes on measure to override repeal | Dems press Apple on phone slowdowns, kids' health | New Android malware found Dem lawmakers push Apple on public health risks, iPhone slowdowns The nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment MORE (Ohio), John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthRed state Dem: Trump has 'committed impeachable offenses' Congress reeling from sexual harassment deluge The nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment MORE (Ky.) and Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralLeft fears Democrats will give too much on immigration Trump’s border wall becomes flashpoint in shutdown fight Dem: Putin trying to 'outflank' US across the globe while Trump tweets MORE (N.Y.).

The Democratic divisions overshadowed the unanimous vote of Republicans, who have stood by Trump throughout his 11 months in office, despite nonstop controversies. 

“[Fifty-eight] members of Congress simply couldn’t resist the temptation to show their contempt of President Trump. Rather than working with civility to bridge their differences with the Administration, they just voted for his impeachment,” Rep. David McKinleyDavid Bennett McKinleyLawmakers battle Trump, PhRMA on discount drug rule House rejects Democrat's resolution to impeach Trump Lawmakers slam DOE’s proposal to help coal, nuclear power MORE (R-W.Va.) wrote on Twitter. 

— This story was updated at 4:01 p.m.